I always enjoy a stroll through the City of London, and I notice something new every time I’m there.
This afternoon, the main purpose of my visit was to attend one of the excellent free talks in the Guildhall Library, this time about the River Thames and its history and importance. But my route took me past St Vedast’s church, where there is a fragment of a Roman pavement on display in the small courtyard to the side of the building, and also past The Saddlers Hall.
Quite apart from the fact that I’m still horse mad and always stop to look at horse-related objects, I seem to remember that my heroine Julie did a little work in The Saddlers Hall in The Art of Killing, and today I was struck by the coat of arms on the front of the building. The motto of the Worshipful Company of Saddlers is “Hold fast, sit sure”, and I thought the first part was actually a fairly accurate description of Julie, even though Julie herself has no interest whatsoever in horses. But it was only through her tenacity and deep conviction that this mystery was eventually solved.
One other thing of interest, if you happen to be in the area, is an exhibition at the Guildhall Library called “From Beef Tea to Battleships: Remembering the First World War”. It is on until 12 November, and it features the personal belongings of the men and women who fought in that war. I was particularly drawn to a very fine example of a silk embroidered postcard as well as a torch which had saved its owner’s life by deflecting a bullet.