06 July 2005

A London Journal—Day Six

Odds n' ends

Congratulations to London, 2012 Olympic host city

PyromaniacWhen Darlene and I were in London in February, the Olympic Committee were also in town, dining with Her Majesty. London has been campaigning hard to be the host city of the 2012 Olympics, and today they were awarded the games—in a major upset victory over Paris. (Paris has now made three successive unsuccessful bids for the games.) There was a massive crowd in Trafalgar Square to hear the announcement, and the place went wild. Same thing at Waterloo station. Meanwhile, there was bitter mourning in Paris.

Food in London, one last time

Speaking of French losers, let it be noted for the record that I do not agree with Frog president Jacques Chirac about anything. Everything the man says is wrong.

He's got the whole of Britain in an uproar at the moment because of his snide remarks about English cuisine. While I have said English food is bland and restaurants in London are often disappointing, I would not go as far as Chirac, who pronounced English food "the worst in Europe, next to Finland."

In point of fact, one of the worst—and most expensive—meals I have ever had was in Paris, right in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, at a place supposedly renowned for French onion soup. The soup bore the distinct flavor of second-hand cigarette smoke, the bread was stale and tasteless, and even the Coke was flat. So much for French dining.

I realize, of course, the French have a reputation for their cooking, and some of the world's finest cooking schools are in France, but I can attest from personal experience that they are also capable of serving a lousy meal. The main difference between the bad restaurants in England and the bad restaurants in France is that the ones in France are usually more expensive.

Incidentally, several people have very kindly sent me London food and restaurant recommendations. But for the remainder of my time in London (this time, anyway), I'll be tied up with the conference. I won't even have time to try the very intriguing restaurant recommended by my friend Todd Stanton: Locanda Locatelli. Todd says it is his all-time favorite Italian restaurant. Check their menu. Mmmmm. Squid ink and pasta. Now that's my kind of restaurant.

By the way, I got some HobNobs. Whoever recommended those: good call.

The Fourth of July

You saw the fantastic fly-over photo Darlene took on the 4th. We thought it odd that England would take note of the Fourth of July, right? Canadia Day is one thing. American Independence Day? No way. Well, it turns out that the fly-over was not in commemoration of the American holiday. It was a celebration of the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II. And yes, those were the Red Arrows. They did it again today when the announcement about the Olympics was made.

The School of Theology

The conference is still going well. Today was a long day—with preaching from 10:00 AM till 9:00 tonight, breaks only at mealtimes. I was going to try to post summaries of all the messages, and I actually started writing them, but it became too much. Tapes, CDs, and DVDs of the conference will be available from the Met Tab Bookshop. Get them.

Anyway, I can hear Big Ben tolling 11:00 PM. I've got to go to bed. I have an early meeting with our friend Adrian Warnock at Waterloo tomorrow morning.


Daniel Nolan said...

i'm wondering if there's been a speaker at SoT who hasn't managed to take a swipe at that microphone :)

Ransom said...

Where is this "Canadia" of which you speak? I can't find it on the map, and I know that's not because I'm a United Statesian . . .

James Spurgeon said...

LOL - I'm glad you've pointed that out Ransom. I wasn't sure if it was some weird British pronunciation or jet-lag.