London Bridge Is Not Falling Down; It Never Will #londonbridge #Ilovelondon

London Bridge is falling down,
Falling down, falling down.
London Bridge is falling down,
My fair lady

It’s nothing special, London Bridge. Not as iconic as Tower Bridge; not as twee as Albert or as sharply modern as the Millennium. Its popularity stems as much from the ability to take pictures of other parts of London. Functional, really.

How many times have I crossed it? Stood on it? Dad used to tell of the London smogs of the 1950s when he feared walking into the parapet and falling into the river.

How many ways have I crossed it? I’ve walked, I’ve run, I’ve cycled. I’ve driven and been driven. I’ve caught buses, shared cabs. I’ve been sober and drunk. I’ve tripped and fallen and I’ve smiled and cried.

What views have I taken in from it. Tower Bridge…

by day and

the new, the Shard

and the old, The Tower of London

I’ve bumped into strangers and hugged friends. I’ve met people on it. I’ve said goodbye on it. Once I nearly knocked over one of those human statues while fiddling with my phone. I’ve put money in a beggar’s cup and given coffee to the homeless. I’ve stood on London Bridge pier waiting on the river boat to take me to Canary wharf and watched as a gannet swooped and caught a fish in the eddying currents by its supports.

I’ve been diverted across it and from it; I’ve watched workmen hang from it, repairing it and I’m old enough to remember when its predecessor was sold to the Americans who thought it was Tower Bridge – how we laughed!

But never once, not one time have I feared for my life, crossing it. I was lucky, in that I use it regularly, not to be there on Saturday night when that van crossed the kerb and took aim.

And I will keep using it. I will cry next time I cross and look down on Southwark Cathedral and the market. I will think about those bastards that made me feel that way. They are insidious criminals; whether I like to admit it they make me suspicious of people I have no right to be suspicious of, just because they cover their hair or have a certain type of beard. I fight that urge to look, to check. It isn’t me, not the me I was and want to be again.

And I will win that battle with myself because I know it is a battle I have to win.

London Bridge will not fall down any time soon. Not while I have the breathe to hold it up, ugly old sod that it is. I’ll do that because it’s ordinary, functional and it’s mine. Sod them

London Bridge will never fall down. I love it far too much to let it.

 

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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91 Responses to London Bridge Is Not Falling Down; It Never Will #londonbridge #Ilovelondon

  1. Ritu says:

    Beautiful His Geoffleship x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My favourite too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lucy Brazier says:

    I was in London this weekend, thankfully not caught up in the drama. On Sunday morning I went to Kings Cross to hop on the Victoria Line was heartened to see London carrying on as normal. Such atrocities will never shake the spirit of London, nor the rest of the UK and it makes me proud.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. barbtaub says:

    Reblogged this on Barb Taub and commented:
    Tears for London and her bridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is from the heart Geoff, lovingly said. I can’t process what is happening in the world at the moment. It is abhorrent to me. I wish it were different, but reading messages such as yours helps to lift the downcast spirit in difficult times.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TanGental says:

      We must Marje; of curse we should mourn and be sad and support those hurt and damaged by this but at no stage should we change how we deal with others, never mind who or where from. A liberal democracy is a fragile structure and we need to cherish it hard. Damn them

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It is incomprehensible really – but I love how it summons forth the indomitable spirit – Don’t hate, don’t go down to where they are – for that’s when the madmen win.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Geoff, I have cried many times these last few weeks – Manchester is my homeland, even after forty years in Wales. London holds memories of such happy times with my husband. This is such a poignant post. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      thank you Judith; we all need to nurture our much loved towns and cities and their inhabitants to ensure they stay as we want them to – open fair and welcoming

      Like

  8. Rachel says:

    Beautifully said.

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      thank you Rachel; i look at something I’ve used like I use my kitchen table, which I take for granted and I’d dammed if some nutter will make me change they way I use it.It isn’t theirs to play with me like that

      Liked by 1 person

  9. merrildsmith says:

    Yes to all of this, Geoff. I’ve only been in London once, and I was a child, but I remember how kind and friendly the people were. “Keep calm and carry on,” and please don’t judge Americans by our ignorant president.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TanGental says:

      Thanks and we will, it’s in the dust. As for your pressie, well he is a one, isn’t he!!? I’m looking forward to his state visit; the boos that will follow him will be pretty epic. I don’t think the special relationship will be enhanced by his coming

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Darlene says:

    Well said!! Sad days but the British spirit will never be broken.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. No, it certainly will not! That bloke who wrote about “the end of history” was a bit wrong, wasn’t he …?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I went to Manchester five days after the bombing – the people were their amazing resilient selves… I’m sure London will be the same. Here’s to all the bridges (real and metaphorical) still standing and gaining ever more support.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Mary Smith says:

    Very well put, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Norah says:

    I want to stand beside you and applaud your sentiment. We must stay strong and resolute, and not judge the innocent by their looks and the atrocious acts of others. Your post is such a wonderful tribute to a bridge, a city, a nation, a Commonwealth, a world that will pull together and overcome what assails it.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is what it’s all about. Thank you, Geoff. My thoughts with you and everyone in London right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Erika Kind says:

    Such incidents make us so much more aware of what we have and what things, areas, or people meant to us. Time for reflection where time has no meaning. A wonderful post, Geoffle!

    Liked by 2 people

  17. A. E. Robson says:

    Spot on, Geoff. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Anabel Marsh says:

    Well said, and obviously heartfelt. So sad for London, Manchester – and the while world really.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Ruth Daly says:

    Love this. Beautifully written – you captured how many of us feel. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. tidalscribe says:

    Reblogged this on Times and Tides of a Beachwriter and commented:
    TanGental’s thoughts speak for all Londoners.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Reblogged this on Don Massenzio's Blog and commented:
    Check out this wonderful post from Geoff Lepard that speaks for the strong spirit of the British people.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Beautiful. Thank you for writing (and sharing) this, Geoff. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      I feel we are at risk of over thinking sometimes; deaths like these, ditto the injured, are appalling things but they are freaks, abnormalities and not anything that warrants changing our behaviours

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Brilliant post, Geoff. London Bridge will never fall down – remember Winston Churchill!

    Like

  24. willowdot21 says:

    Brilliant post Geoff we will not be bowed!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. 6 of the presumed victims are not even British and the 7th partially, so if it was supposed to be an attack on British people then they got it wrong on that front. The fact that these poor killed people are from other countries makes the whole thing even more incredibly sad.
    Good to see the nice appreciative comments to your heartfelt piece.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Elyse says:

    Barb Taub sent me over.

    I’ve been in London many times — it is a city like no other. And London Bridge and Londoners react to adversity better than anybody on the planet. Keep Calm and Carry On.

    Sorry for the words of Trump. Really, we’re trying to get rid of the guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Annecdotist says:

    Beautiful tribute, Geoff. Keep crossing the bridge!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Marsha says:

    Love your passion!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. So heartfelt and beautifully written Geoff. No, London Bridge will NOT fall down

    Liked by 1 person

  30. dgkaye says:

    Absolutely beautiful Geoff ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Londoners and the British for that matter have handled worse. We build bridges we don’t burn them.

    Like

  32. Rowena says:

    Hi Geoff,
    Somehow I managed to miss the news of this attack until yesterday. It can be difficult to access the TV at times and I’m not a huge watcher…other than Masterchef at the moment.
    I am feeling a bit bombed out to be honest and am not quite sure what to think any more.
    However, I am quite angered by the political talk of carrying on as though nothing has happened, when for the families and friends of the victims, and the survivors, life will never be the same. You can’t smoke screen that. I worked with one of the Lindt Siege hostages years ago and she’s been caught up in the investigation for the last two years and I’m still not sure whether she has returned to work, despite being a manager for a banking corporation. When I first Googled her after the siege, I found talk about her Church involvement. Now, there are pages of references to her being held at gunpoint and her comments during the investigation. She is a private person who has been made public. I feel like our esteemed Prime Minister has forgotten that. And, what it was like to walk through Martin Place where it happened, even months after the siege and I know friends who worked in the area, who chose not to dine there. Didn’t feel it was necessary to go back.
    I am I hope fortunate living in this backwater which aside from Spike Milligan’s visit’s, has largely remained off the radar. I can’t really get to Europe at the moment, but I have been thinking that after waiting 25 years, I can wait a few more.
    At the same time, I really do commend your sentiments and desire to defend and claim London Bridge as a person thing for yourself and Londoners. That’s very different from political mumbo jumbo.
    I’m not quite sure how people living in places like London and Paris where there’s a constant and serious reality of another terrorist attack can tread that fine line between self-preservation and tolerance. I know the Muslim community itself in so many parts of the world is trying to identify and deal with individuals who are becoming radicalized and are working with authorities. However, a lone wolf is a lone wolf and by nature, hard to pick out.
    I am thinking of you and all Londoners and the people of Manchester as well.
    xx Ro

    Like

  33. I know what you mean, Ro. Was thinking of that whilst all the press was covering concerts and vigils. Meanwhile, the funeral of a 14 year old girl was taking place.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – Tuesday 6th June 2017 – Darlene Foster, Vashti Quiroz-Vega with Olga Nunez Miret, Geoff Le Pard and Luanne Castle | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  35. Standing with you Geoff…both literally and physically. My eldest son was heading there Saturday night minutes before the trains stopped. He eventually got back to Brighton from Victoria at 3am. Thank God for what’s app as texts didn’t get through. So glad you know you were safe, I thought of you and your family the minute I heard the news. Thank you for this…needed to read it… and see you in London in a few days!

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Tina Frisco says:

    I had chills reading this, Geoff. You showed so clearly how the seeds of prejudice are sown, and how a moral conscience and open heart can prevent it. Powerful… β™₯

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Vashti Q says:

    Great post, Geoff! Beautiful pictures and words.

    Like

  38. Val says:

    Thank you for this.I still csn’t process what has happened. While it affected me when Manchester had their dreadful attack, this has affected me more deeply. I left London a decade ago to live in rural Wales (for various personal reasons) but my heart is still in London.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Pingback: London is Always a Good Idea: Travel Bloggers Weigh in on Their Love for the British Capital. – Art. Travel. Eat. Repeat.

  40. olganm says:

    Thanks for this post, Geoff.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Charli Mills says:

    Powerful and honest words, Geoff. I believe we are stronger when we can see our own cracks, see the damage left by intention by those who do want us to great others and be suspicious. But we can be mindful, we can curse those who deserve it and not push aside those who have not wronged anyone, but have had their culture hijacked, too. Thank you for sharing these photos. I love London through your eyes and an sad for the heinous acts committed on that bridge. But this post feels healing; a bridge between humanity as much as across a river.

    Liked by 1 person

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