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Violating Sanctions

An American Woman’s Listening Tour Through the Axis of Evil

The London Logs: From Paupers’ Graves to Princely Gourmet, Southwark Cathedral, the Swiss Olympic Stage & London Bridge

The Author By Kelly Hayes-Raitt | August 2nd, 2012 | Comments No Comments

Cross Bones Graveyard: This is where “single women” in the 1400s were buried. crossbonesgraveyardsign.jpgThe former prostitutes’ graveyard is now a battleground: development vs historic preservation. These days, there’s an annual ceremony to commemorate the unheralded women by having visitors tie ribbons with the prostitutes’ names and death dates to the fence. (www.standard.co.uk/lifestyle/esmagazine/tall-tales-a-grave-question-6359736.html)borough-market-cow-sign.jpg

Why did I end up here? It’s like my friend Kim O’Donnell said when I left Eureka Springs, Arkansas, along a route that retraced Bonnie & Clyde’s lam-running and included two Japanese internment camps. “Refugees. Displaced people. People on the run,” Kim commented.crossbonesgraveyardsingleribbon.jpg I’d missed the connection. crossbonesgraveyardribbons.jpgMy book about refugees is tentatively titled Living Large in Limbo: How I Found Myself Among the World’s Forgotten.

Borough Market: Not hard to figure out how I ended up at this grazing fest! In this location longer than the United States has existed, more than 100 food stalls showcase gourmet everything culinary: borough-market-stalls.jpgchocolate, bread, cheese, fish, meat, fruit, wine, locally brewed beer. What sets this outdoor, covered market apart from others is that vendors provide on-the-spot prepared food. To the intoxicating smells of grilling sausage, I noshed on a spicy spinach and ricotta empanada for £2 and an overwhelming Galloway roast beef sandwich that lasted 2 meals for £5. (www.BoroughMarket.org.uk)

Southwark Cathedral: I wandered into this impressive, progressive church and stumbled into a small mass that focused on social justice. Among the church’s religious icons are a map of Zimbabwe to raise money for local schools and a project raising awareness of human trafficking. Free concerts are performed during the week and I may return Monday to support the El Segundo High School from my neck o’ the woods! southwark-cathedral.jpg

The church is the oldest cathedral building in London. “Southwark stands at the oldest crossing point of the tidal Thames at what was the only entrance to the City of London across the river for many centuries,” says the Church’s web site. “It is not only a place of worship but also of hospitality to every kind of person: princes and paupers, prelates and prostitutes, poets, playwrights, prisoners and patients have all found refuge here.” No wonder I felt right at home! (www.SouthwarkCathedral.org.uk)

Southwark Cathedral is also the location of the House of Switzerland 2012. At unexpected moments, I stumble across stages celebrating the Olympics from host venues. Tonight, a jazz trio performed across from the church courtyard.

London Bridge: At some point, every visitor has to wander over London Bridge, where there are great views of the impressive Tower Bridge – now sporting Olympic rings!
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Category: London, Olympics
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