Soho square chilled in mornings dew, after her sordid weekend. This location marks a central city zone and its vibes of relaxed revelry in early spring are around you here at this hour of daybreak. She sighs with the turning of the earthday and prepares for a busy week of commerce and personal solace with comfort to the lost soles that speed or stroll through her labrynth. She still smells ofnpiss and booze yet the aromas of coffee flowers and cookery hide her audacious lines of time.
The knackered balerina sits at the north eastern extremity of soho, marking the borders of creativity with the hard nose of city trading. She rests uninspired by her down time audience of babling tourists, on this cuspnof the artistic heart of the country. Drury lane drifts off towards the river in a timeless medival squiggly line, beckoning the sellers of conceptual distractiins, fancies and imperatives. She is not performing now, she is free here, her hankered tired angles do not try to impress like her tailoured curves of grace that skip across the critical life stage, she street sits like a smoking chef, sighing in the weathered atmospheres and passing of peoples, pigeons and their languages.
At its southwestern edge, adjacent to the mornful monuments inspired by the death of a beloved old queen at Charring Cross’ pyre of revelry off whitehall and austerity, is an arbituabench m7micking the wry thoughts of oscar wilde. Scattered from the area by anarchic laws on sexual behaviour to be buried in paris at pierre lachaise, he is still unforgotten as our second most influential playwright, arguably, as we would never carry on as england and englishness had he never poke us from behind with his witty wry references to our tired habit of staidness. Tbc…
It is quintessentially a humorous take on death, the kids don’t seem to mind the coffin shape levitating above ground for its funny face and bench like qualities. Here they are assured of mum’s attention as she lands areonautic fruit pieces on their island tongue protruding from the port of their tiny, unpractised and unable mouths.
Between these monuments you will find poets, musicians, artists, critics, the desperate, the sexually liberated and contained. Here behind locked doors are modern slaves, prisoners of a foreign mafia. Chinese smells, food, fanciful ladies, lanterns and waving cats litter the sidestreets to create the town within a town, alive with drumming dragons and celebrations at odd times in the year.
It’s lunchtime and the sun is shining on the rota of half hour lunchers and languishing tourists in the square, dogs pigeons and rats wait beside the homeless for scraps to pick from the waste of some of the cities finer foods. Breads and exotic vegetations in multicolours, adhered together with sauces or aside to dead flesh ar stuffed between talkative lips and discarded in the overflowing bins.
The regal spirituality of this place being always in sight as your eyes traverse the wavy lines ofspires that dimple the every cha ging colours of the skies. Retrace your timeless steps as you alight at platform 3 at the oldly named charring cross train station. A modern communicative necessity, delivers you to this spot of deadly significance in the birth of the pleasant lands it now enshrines.
An historiography of the complex confusions that this real trollope of an area had to undergo before becoming one of the worlds busiest destinations for sightseers. In the past perhaps just the home of early medieval prophesisers. The tower they call cross is victorian, an homage from that periods architecture to the wonderous past of their great imperial city ney towns. The original Eleanor’s Cross, erected by the Plantagenot king , to mark the spot where his beloved Castillian queen’s organless and lifeless corpse were delivered by Edward I in 1291. She had died in Lincoln, her viscera entombed asa relic in the cathedral of England’s green Lincoln, he had the 12 places her body rested enshrined in a cross, originally of wood, entombed later by name as time etched his mark onto the occaision. The three extant crosses today talk of the victorian romantic, the gothically carved macabre history of a troubled nation, while the sites, such as Eastcheap (Later Cheap-side from the Anglo-Saxon for the chartered Market to the side of the city), scream of the destructive political termoil of the flegdling empire as it grappled with its adolescent civil and religious persecution.
Indeed uncover the history of this modern version of the cross, wonder at the construction of the new ones, in the Wirral or at Glastonbury, in honour of the lost Reya Eleanor. Architect Barry, infamous for the ornate architecture of Covent Garden, designed this for the new Charring Cross hotel on the railway site. His lavish reproduction is fifty yards at least from the original which stood at the start of the ancient Royal Mews, now Whitehall, on the spot where Protestant Cromwell tore down the original ruin to erect an equestrian likeness of impotent king George I, imported from Hanover, as a two fingered salute to the English traditions of Catholicism. My question remains, in that where are those of Eleannors? Could we glance across to St. Martin in the Fields? Aptly named, after its spot across from the village of Charring (again Saxon reference, this time to the river’ bend) in the wastelands of fields that seperated the independant City from the regal loyalty to the people from the places at Westminster, now mere vestibules of our limp democractic powers. A shrine, a burial place at least since Roman times, perhaps longer, for the spiritual ponderment still adournes each face whoose backside rests upon his steps, an whose anticipation is somewhat time honouredas the markets of the west end traders and shopkeepers sprawl in squares andcircles created for the siccophantic Georgian gentlefolk honouring the new godless kings after the reformation and civil war. This area holds the spiritual woes of many today, was it therefore the significant resting place and bartering centreof time honoured pilgrims from the southern counties? Is it Eleanorsresting place? Built away from the Whitehall that was Westminster, or the seat of our royal powers, to keep plague victims away from the palace, its history chuckles downfrom its spires, it is watching all our fates unfold too fast for our fickle humanity is quick in passing and at some stage in life we generally all pass through what we irreligiously call the West End, which in actuality is the geographical centre of our monstrous metropolis, the younger sister of that old spinster Rome…