There were more than 500 dignitaries in London this past Monday to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
I was not among them, but as fate would have it, I was in London too.
I was there for the Transporeon Summit to give a keynote presentation (I’ll share my takeaways from the event in a future post).
I landed early in the morning and took the Underground to my hotel, a journey that took more than two hours. I checked in, tried to take a short nap, but after an hour of sleepless rest, I went for a walk.
I was nowhere near the crowds lined up to see the Queen’s funeral procession. I was with everyone else, tourists and locals alike, who opted for less crowded streets.
I walked across Tower Bridge and along The Thames, until the jetlag and lack of sleep caught up to me.
I stopped at a pub, but since I don’t really drink, I ordered a tomato soup instead. The telly above the bar had live coverage of the Queen’s funeral procession.
There I was, an American in London eating soup while just a few miles away a group of Royal Navy sailors pulled the Queen’s carriage down the long road from Westminster Abbey. Through the crowds and sailors you could see: her jeweled crown resting atop her casket.
I settled the tab and walked the long way back to my hotel. A homeless man, aged beyond his actual years, slept alone at the steps leading up to Tower Bridge. I followed the others and walked around him.
When evening came, the crowds dispersed, and all the dignitaries went home too. I was still awake.
I had dinner near the hotel, a steak sandwich with chips. When I returned, I ironed my clothes for the next day (I am my father’s son). Then I showered and got ready for bed.
It didn’t take long for me to fall asleep. If I had any dreams, I don’t remember them.
The next morning, after eating a large breakfast, I got ready for the conference. I put on my suit and tie, laced up my leather shoes, and donned my scally cap. I headed out early for the conference.
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning, especially for this time of the year. You could feel the beginning of fall in the air. I retraced my steps from the day before: along The Thames, across Tower Bridge, and down the steps to the other side of the river, where the homeless man still slept, this time facing away so you couldn’t see his face. As I walked around him again with the others, I wondered: did he have any dreams, any he can remember?
Moving on, here’s the supply chain and logistics news that caught my attention this week:
Since I am still inbetween time zones, I’ll save my commentary for next week.
Have a happy weekend!
Song of the Week: “Tower of London” by ABC