So the second poem that was read at today's wedding was After the Lunch by the wonderful Wendy Cope. A poem about falling in love on Waterloo Bridge, without doubt one of the most romantic places in this often drab, hectic city. And was rather a coincidence because I have been travelling across the 'Dirty ol river' each day this last week and each time as the train shuffles into the station that's just the other side of the Thames, I cast my eyes over Waterloo bridge,St Paul's,the 'gherkin' and downriver to the scaled down sky-scrapers or upriver to Big Ben and the Wheel.The view is mesmeric.
The river can be grey as the sky, the buildings a spectrum of greys and the world still in black and white save an occasional flash of red of bus or boat.
Or pitch black,with electric lights in it's own galaxy revolving round the moon-like dome of St Pauls or a cloudless blue and everything crystal clear in cold winter light.
Or dusk with streaks of scarlet and coral and the lights melting into sky.
Forgive me if it all seems rather cliche and touristy but I never tire of seeing this view with each new light or shade with which it's painted, and as much as I have longings of hitching up my skirts and departing these shores(with the Shoe in tow) the sense of pride when I look along the river is immense.
When I betrayed my suburban north London roots to move south of the river, it was this journey that really made me glad to be a londoner.
Even the most oppressed commuter must get peace from looking up from the depressing daily paper to glance with awe!
Here's the poem. Perfect for a London Wedding..
After The Lunch by Wendy Cope
On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I've fallen in love.
On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. you're high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?
On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care.
the head does its best but the heart is the boss-
I admit it before I am halfway across.
(pics from flickr)