The Day Diana Died
People all over the world remember the day Diana died as they do Kennedy's death. So this is what it was like for me.
I had planned a trip to see St. Pancreas hotel, which was to have a special opening that Sunday morning. I stopped for the newspapers at the little store on the corner on the way into the city, but though it was after 8 there were no papers. I expected to find some at the St Pancreas station, but still no papers.
There was a little kiosk below the station where I had seen calendar postcards with British scenes that I wanted and when I got there the shopkeeper greeted me with "She is dead". Not particularly sad, was he. Just the facts.
I had my British camcorder with me..and basically interviewed the first two men I met on getting back to the station. What do you think ?
"She was manipulative " was the comment from one.
They were making a movie at the end of the platform and I went over to the hotel for my tour. There were volunteers, one woman who had watched the refurbishment from her place of work across the street, and it was as wonderful as I had expected. It was clear however that it was built with grand public rooms and most of the actual bedrooms were small, and very plain.
One women, noticing me taking photographs, pointed out the window to a half mast flag..this was a mere 6 hours after the death was announced. Later in the day I was to stand on London Bridge and photograph flags at half mast in all directions..Tower Bridge, an English red and white cross flag over the Cathedral by the LB station.
I went back near L. Guildhall to buy somemore suitcases...I had so much stuff STUFF to bring back..and went in a pub. I had to ask the tv be turned on to a news broadcast of news about Diana.
While purchasing my bags off a street vendor..good quality, and very cheap...there was something near to a fight with going on with people in the shop.."you black man you one man yelled..I felt I needed to make a purchase to cause them to quit arguing.
The afternoon 4-6 was more preparations for leaving...washing Phil's pink sheets at the FH launderette. I had intended to call in a cleaning service of some kind before I left, but that would have been difficult to arrange, so I never did.
Once back at Phil's I turned on the radio, sitting one last time in the dusk, as I had done earlier..learning about "dissolution" and the effects of the end of British rule in Hong Kong. I listenend to and heard the BBC program from St Paul's. The commentator pointed out how very quiet things were there. The cathedral was full of very quiet mourners.