One of the best bits of living in London is the fact that you can never exhaust the place. In fact, you can never really ‘know’ it either. It is just too big and too interesting and too diverse.
We have a lot of people come to stay with us from all over the globe and showing them London usually involves the usual sites: Buckingham Palace, Downing Street, Big Ben, the Tower, St Paul’s Cathedral, etc. But it all becomes familiar – as do the places one usually goes to along the routes one knows to be best or most direct. So, sometimes it is good to get an alternative view and see some of the odd bits through someone else’s eyes – and here is a less-than-ten-minute alternative tour of London:
I particularly liked the model of the city showing all the projected new developments. It reminded me of Hitler and Albert Speer surveying the model of the new Berlin. It also reminded me of the only current equivalent of a national leader planning and building a new city: Astana in Kazakhstan. There is a huge model in Astana (the capital city) and, as evry official is keen to tell you, it was all the idea of the President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
You can plan where the buildings will go, but you can’t plan or control the life a city creates.
I know this sounds a bit like a bad sermon with a terrible leap of logic, but… it also reminds me of Jesus teaching in stories and images. If you teach using propositions which require assent or dissent, you can control what is being understood (or, at least, you can think so); but if you tell a story or use an image, you tease the imagination of the hearer and risk them distorting it, missing the main point, re-telling it wrongly, etc. Jesus clearly thought you should just get good news out there and not worry too much what people did with it. I agree.