Everything is Coming

History Society Trip to London 1987

If you ever go to London, it might be wise to read a map of the city on the way there, not on they way home. A Professor of Old English decided that Beowulf was what he needed for entertainment on the way there, but on the way back, a map of London was perused. No wonder he continually got lost. It was a metaphor for the entire trip. The accommodation was basic, but at least the men enjoyed their own beds. I shared a bed with a female friend. We are still friends a quarter of a century later. The men’s room was used for lecture given by an amused History of Parliament researcher who is now a professor. Given the appalling breakfast at our accommodation we headed to a bizarre café nearby. The owner has three words of English, ‘everything is coming’. One could ask for anything, and the reply would be the same. But some things never came, a knife for one’s bread, a spoon, anything. Our trip to Oxford was the intellectual highlight. When we visited the Bodleian Library, we were asked, ‘are you readers’. We assured the librarian that we were literate. When someone, who was not doing history, saw some skyscrapers, she said, knowingly, ‘ah Tudor’, we kept her well away from a Tudor expert. My strongest memory is athletic. As the intervarsity cross country championships were being held just after the London trip, I trained in Hyde Park, my training partner called me Arkle. After my intervarsity exploits, I fell asleep at the disco afterwards, a tribute to the energy required for a history society trip to London.

Margaret Ó hÓgartaigh, a survivor of London ’87.