So, the original site of Will's first Theatre has been found. Londinia, the old tart, sweeps up her crusty skirts to show what she's been hiding all along and laughs at our redfaced surprise. We shouldn't be shocked. Paris may be the curlicued, calorie-controlled charmeuse with the pristine avenues and neatly trimmed bush; New York may be the earnestly on-trend ingenue with the lean, lubricious look; but our own ancient, powder-caked bawd has always been the pro player of them all. Layered with life, filthy with it, London's every nook resonates with mnemonic echoes from men who fretted and strutted to their graves with the same iambic inevitability as us all.
Blue plaques or no, we each walk a cityscape that is personal and unique, landmarked by the places where we've acted out the playlets of our own puny lives. Unexpectedly abutting against a bit of your own urban past can undeniably stop your heart; a few weeks ago I wandered unwitting into a long-forgotten street and slammed abruptly into remembrance. This ordinary, unassuming passage was actually a passage of time, a place of past happening, slippery with shades of sentiment and ripe with the dusty stench of a shed self. The tarmac expelled those old emotions like summer-stored heat and my dull brain was wrought with things forgotten.
So. I went home, drunk a stiff drink that was stiffer than the stiff starched ruff on an old, white, nimble-quilled Warwickshire stiff, and found this on the internet, which made everything better again.