During this very busy trip, finding moments to get my breath are appreciated. I was walking through St. James’s Park, near Buckingham Palace, on my way to St. James’s when I decided that the beautiful weather in this setting had to be a fun part of my visit. I watched people feeding the squirrels and ducks and swans. It was a beautiful day and the chairs were all set out for the sun worshippers. It was all so inviting, especially with the Palace, Clarence House, St. James’s Palace, and Lancaster House as backdrops. I sat down on a park bench to enjoy the scene for a moment when an elderly gentleman asked to share my bench. I was delighted. His name was David. I loved it when he started to tell me his story. He was 86 years old, retired from the Coldstream Guards, and comes to the Park every Friday and then goes to the Guards Officers Dining Room for dinner. I urged him to keep talking. I was thrilled to hear that he was the Queen’s Piper for 30 years and traveled to Balmoral when the Royal Family went off to Scotland each July/August/September. I saw him checking his watch, and I knew he had an appointment at the Barracks, so I helped him wind down his telling stories. In a charming way, David told me that he has rather bad eyesight, and if I see him in the Park on a Friday in the future I am invited to join him on his bench. The charm of that elderly man! I was the richer for having met him. I often have to talk to myself to slow my pace and “smell the roses”–especially when I am sitting in St. James’s Park, my favorite park in London.
Thomas Moore email: TMooreSr@me.com Telephone: 801.791.9918