Then we went off to the Inns of Court for lunch. We sat in the massive dining hall of the Middle Temple, some 101 feet long by 41 feet wide at the High Table, which easily seated the thirty of us, being made from four 29 feet planks of wood from a single oak tree, given by Elizabeth I. Amazing, really was. Good lunch, too. And then I went to look at the Temple Church, built by the Knights Templar and modelled on the Temple in Jerusalem.
None of them the most obvious tourist attractions, but indicative of the wealth of fascinating historical buildings and artefacts in London. And it was a gorgeous day. I had a bit of time to stroll round the gardens and went along to look down on a sunken garden. At eye level there was a wisteria in bloom, planted in the garden beneath, and it had the most gorgeous scent. Ours has a slight scent, but nothing like that. I wonder what variety it is – it was a deeper colour than ours, which still isn’t in full bloom. I’ve never known it so late.
While waiting for the coach to pick us up, Pip and I stood on the Embankment looking at the Thames. We noticed the tide was just on the turn, you could see that the water was flowing strongly downstream and then, a few minutes later, there were eddies and swirls when the incoming tide started to fight against it. A couple of balloons tied together drifted downriver, and a few minutes later came back again, only to pause and bob about in the river in front of us, held by the turning tide.