This was my first visit to London to see my dentist.
It’s both a painful and expensive process but I assure myself not an ongoing one.
I thought the readers might be more interested in my impressions of London in my first visit in just under 6 months.
Last there I was struck by the emptiness of Oxford St.
You could look right down it and not see a single pedestrian.
Since there was a lifting of some restrictions last Monday there was definitely more buzz.
My taxi driver pointed out there were also much more construction and roadworks.
His view was that it was slipped under the radar with less traffic.
Walking down Bond Street to my dentist in Harley Street, I noticed every other shop was boarded up and most seemed closed for good.
I cannot see enough of a retail explosion after May 17th to restore life.
That this is a global pandemic and this country is way ahead of most with its vaccination programme will bring little succour or optimism to our beleaguered retailers.
I heard that guru Mary Portas on the radio state the problem rather than solve it.
The only survivors will surely be those with an internet resource.
It was often said of multiples like Marks and Spencer that their underlying asset of premium locations sustained difficult trading but these are less assets now but liabilities.
Yet I feel that there is an strength about London and Londoners in adversity.
We saw this in 1940 in the grimmest days of the Blitz though Winston Churchill, whose speeches fortified the nation, is now an object of criticism from the anti-colonial lobby who would have suffered more than most if Britain had been vanquished.
When I bring this up, I’m told it was 80 years ago.
True, but London is a major capital city – a venue for sports, the arts, tourist sites, restaurants and night life which no European city can equal.
The city will change but it will survive.