Monday, July 11, 2005

What a difference three weeks makes

I was reading a back number of The Spectator in the dentist's office today. (The 25 June 2005 issue if you want to look it up.) Paul Johnson's essay this week had an especial poignancy about it. "Whatever else you do, don't miss the bus!" is about the delights of riding the double decker red bus in London. You can read it here if you have a subscription. (I don't; my copy is paper, delivered personally to me by the United States Postal Service in the fulness of time, sedately, and without unseemly haste.) Like all of his weekly essays, it's a beautiful exercize in history, literary reference, and personal reminiscence. This one, however, now has a context it did not have when it was written. There's a special value to it; like those letters that are received after news of the writer's death. (Although Johnson is very much alive, thank God.)

Perhaps you can find it at the library if you haven't got the £50.