On my wanderings last week I spotted (well was looking out for thanks to plaquesoflondon.com )n inconspicuous plaque on a pub wall in Nevill Road. An ordinary, terraced street in an unremarkable suburb of London with an unfortunate claim to fame, that being that the first zeppelin bomb to fall on London dropped into the back garden of the Nevill Arms pub on 30th May 1915. The attack killed 7 and injured 35 and with it came a new era in warfare. An era thats certainly left its mark on London, in most cases the marks are all but disappeared, signalled by a gleaming glass and not so gleaming concrete plonked down in the middle of victorian brick. The blitz is being recreated at the moment by Channel 4 subjecting a specially made terrace to ever larger explosions which kind of misses the point of the true horror of the blitz. Not the effect on brick and mortar but on flesh and bone.
Maybe these periodic conflagrations are the equivalent of a bush fire that some trees require to activate these seeds. From Boudicca through Saxon and Viking raids, Peasants Revolts, plague and fire, The Gordon Riots right up to 7/7. Its part of a dynamic city I guess, one that constantly reinvents itself. And thats not even counting on the rather less dramatic predations of the property developers who ensure that history doesn't get in the way of profit.
Theres a quote from Babylon 5 that seems rather apt - "The universe is driven by the complex interweaving of three elements: energy, matter and enlightened self-interest"
Election Day tomorrow. Woo-hoo!!