By Gerald McLean
“I make a habit of turning my phone on aircraft mode, or not answering it. It’s my quiet time, even though it’s as noisy as hell. It’s so noisy it’s quiet; you know what I mean? I walk over here at least 10 times a week, it takes me 175 strides if I’m not in a hurry, or lost in thought, or 145 end to end when I’m in a hurry or training, normally in the morning when I’m going to work, it’s quite empty then, but never really quiet.
The old building where Big Ben is, the Palace of Westminster burnt down. This lot was built over 30 years, 1840-1870. It’s Gothic, that’s when we built things to last. Not like this s**t these days. Don’t get me wrong, some are good to look at, but you know they’re not going to last. These new guys aren’t going to be remembered in hundreds of years from now. If I were a builder I’d build in stone.
Yeah, I’ve learnt a lot about this bridge, I feel it belongs to me; I take every opportunity to walk it. It reminds me of my birthright; the efforts and achievement of the father. A-fe mi dis(this is mine).
You see, given England’s main income at that time, you don’t have to be an academic to figure out where the capital resource come from to make it. In fact, everything I look upon a-fe mi (is mine). After all, like Bob Marley’s song, ‘Buffalo Soldier’ goes; ‘if you know your history, you wouldn’t have to ask me, who the hell do I think I am’; but there’s always more than one story. I read that in 1663 the first reports of the English trying to control the Maroons of Jamaica were recorded. They were described as living a carefree life and killed every white they came across. We’ve talked about this before. It’s always prudent to seek out what others don’t want to publicize, if not, you’ll end up with a single story, and that’s never a good thing. That’s when the truth becomes a false story, or His-Story.
Yeah, I’m real proud of this bridge of mine. It was designed by a foreigner, you know, some Swiss guy, another migrant, Charles something. In fact, like most capitals around the world, they’re all designed and built by migrants, from London to Sidney. I don’t think people fully get that. If new people no come yah, we gwan end up inna problem. Still, I get why we want to take back control, but then who is really in control? These are the sorts of things I think about, along with looking at the pretty girls. When you cross this bridge, no matter what time of year or day, you see people from all over the world. That’s the thing I like about London, everybody mix-up. It stops trouble, don’t you think? I don’t like it when people segregate themselves. That’s when problems start, when things get bad. Yeah, I like to walk cross this bridge, it makes me think, and it helps me to sort things out. It helps me to escape, frees and grows my mind”.