Destinations Magazine

The Perfect Size for a Seminar …

By Lwblog @londonwalks
The Perfect Size for a Seminar …It's six.

And, yes, that's me, David, the university professor, speaking.

And as long as we're playing the numbers game, I'm also fond of saying that "every London Walk is a three-way conversation. The conversants being London; the guide; and you guys*, our walkers."

And six? Seminar-perfect six? Well, yes, some London Walks do hit one for six from time to time. Hieronymous Bosch in the National Gallery (the tour takes place every Friday afternoon) is a case in point. The six being:

1. The Bosch painting.

2. The London Walks guide/art historian.

3. The walkers.

4. The great Uruguayan writer, Eduardo Galeano, who said:

A condemned man shits gold coins.
Another hangs from an immense key.
The knife has ears.
The harp plays the musician.
Fire freezes.
The pig wears a nun's habit.
Inside the egg lives death.
Machines run people.
Each nut dwells in his own world.
No one meets up with anyone.
All are running nowhere.
They have nothing in common, save fear of each other.

5. The great English artist - and art critic - John Berger, who said, "Five centuries ago, Hieronymous Bosch painted globalisation."

6. Everything that's outside the frame of that Bosch painting. Our times, our world. Our "globalised" world.

*You guys because as any and all of us will tell you, "on walking tours you get a much better - brighter, more interesting (and more interested) - "class of client". Which is by way of saying, it's more fun to Pip and Pocket** around London with you guys - you're more fun to guide - not least because it's never a one-way street. We learn from you as well as the other way round.

**Virtually all of you will have caught the echo, but for anyone who didn't, the phrase is an allusion to Pip and Herbert Pocket in Great Expectations, the novel that most people say is Dickens' greatest. (Not being most people I'd beg to differ - I'd plump for Our Mutual Friend.)

The National Gallery Tour takes place every Friday afternoon meeting at 2.15pm outside Embankment Station.

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