• Audrey Chin

Quick note from London


The week started with the senseless bombings at the Boston Marathon. Arriving in London on Wednesday, I ran into Margaret Thatcher’s funeral and the pockets of hate and anger still festering against the policies she implemented more than twenty years ago. And then, on Thursday morning I saw the pictures of the Texas Waco fire over BBC and later that evening the plea by a Muslim high school boy to be spared victimization after his photo was irresponsibly released as a possible suspect in the Boston bombings…. He doesn’t have anything to do with it apparently, he was just brown and there!

Still there have been small mercies this week.

For one, the weather in Britain has been lovely. A little nippy with the wind but miraculously the sun’s been out. So have the daffodils, the tulips, the magnolias and the cherry trees. I wish I had the technical skills to post the photos… but alas! Next week perhaps.

Coming to the UK also provided an opportunity to travel through rolling English countryside to Sussex to make the acquaintance of a lovely old English couple and enjoy three hours in a typical bungalow with a beautifully peaceful English garden filled with pansies, forsythias, newly laid out strawberries and sky-blue forget-me-not. We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch of cold cuts, Branston pickles and a wobbly pink mousse topped with last season’s frozen berries… Just like the desserts I had as a student in this country!

In London, yesterday, I caught up with my brother and sister-in-law, who were down from the Midlands for a conference. We spent an enjoyable afternoon walking through London terraces to lunch at a Michelin one-star, Launceston Place, and then afterwards to the Saatchi Museum in Chelsea.

The Saatchi was exhibiting some Modern Russian art – super realistic and depressing. All I can say was it made me think. What also made me think was the free admission to the museum, the fact there were no electric security gates, or hand bag checks, the crowds loitering relaxed and unhassled in the front courtyard. It was the week of the Boston bombings, two days after the Demonstrations at the Thatcher funeral, two days before the London Marahton… yet what ease and freedom. It was something to wonder at.

Which brings me back to yet another mercy I must be grateful for. We take it too much for granted, the fact that we in developed countries, in a little Red dot like Singapore, have politicians in power who are genuinely committed to putting policies in place that are GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY. We may disagree with their policies but it’s quite clear they are not in the job just to enrich themselves or their families or to rape the country and drain it dry. This isn’t something that can be taken for granted in a host of other countries. Whatever Thatcher’s faults… it can’t be said she set out to do all she did in bad faith.

So now the woman’s died … Let’s let go and let be. We’re alive and that’s what matters. No more looking back in anger. April is over, it was a cruel month. We’ve been wounded. We grieve. But It’s spring and time to step forward in hope.

#acitizenofmyworld #London #thatcher #travel

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