I was out wandering around Fleet Street the other day when I came across this house, where Samuel Johnson once lived. There is a plaque on the wall and a statue of his cat sitting on top of the famous dictionary that he wrote. You can visit the house and the ‘garret’ that he lived in. Any ideas you have of him as a writer struggling in his garret are soon dispelled. Dr Johnson clearly lived in the five-star version.
Samuel Johnson was best known as the creator of the dictionary. He also coined the phrase ‘when a man is tired of London he is tired of life’. But then again Dr Johnson was living in this luxury Garret just off of Fleet Street, not a tower block in Peckham, and he didn’t have yet another weekend of London Transport ‘maintenance work closures’ to deal with.
It’s not so much that I’m bored of London but I am looking for new challenges. Somewhere free of the pressures of living in what is now officially the most expensive place to live and work in the world.
Actually, whenever I think of Dr Johnson I can’t help but think of Robbie Coltraine’s portrayal of him in ‘Blackadder’.
Fleet Street is named after the river fleet that at one time ran along its path and you can follow the old river from its source in the Thames near Blackfriars, along Fleet Street and all the way to Hampstead. It’s about a 6-7 mile walk.
Yes the answer to the question ‘what does a smart, sophisticated, single girl-about-town (that would be me) do on a Sunday?’ is ‘she walks 6 miles through London tracing a river that dried up hundreds of years ago, with just Google maps for company’.