This 11th

Things here seem strangely in limbo, which I suppose will be so until the Queen’s funeral on September 19. I have read that President Biden has made it clear he will attend personally; and he will certainly not be the only head of state to do so. One suspects it will be the biggest gathering of world leaders since maybe… well, ever.

Last evening, here in Dartmouth, walking by the harbourside park we noticed where people have been leaving flowers. We walked over to have a closer look:

[Flowers for the late Queen Elizabeth. Photo by me, Dartmouth, Devon, September 10, 2022.]

Ironically, just steps away at the boat harbour, planted Platinum Jubilee flowers are still there:

[Dartmouth Harbour, with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee flowers still there. Photo by me, Dartmouth, Devon, September 10, 2022.]

For the first time, last night, when a BBC newsreader spoke of “King Charles III,” it felt unreal, almost dystopia, to me.

Charles is King?

It is hard to describe the sensation. It was as if someone had re-written history into some bizarre new “timeline” and we were now living it. The best comparison I can make is it felt something like being dropped into that Amazon Prime drama The Man in the High Castle (set in the early 1960s, depicting the world about fifteen years after Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan had won World War II instead of the Allies): history had gone off the rails.

[National September 11 Memorial, Manhattan. South Tower pool. Photo by me, August 30, 2018.]

And today is, for us Americans in particular, an ugly actual historical anniversary once more.

I was here on September 11, 2001, then living in London, where I worked at a university. I will never forget first learning about what was happening across in New York via the internet on my desktop PC in the office I shared with an English colleague; from across the room, having seen it first, he asked if I had CNN open… which I did not, and… then I opened it. Shortly after, I rushed to the Tube and for home, and when I got home I discovered there was no getting through to my parents – or to anyone else – in New York by phone that evening: the lines were down and/or jammed…

I don’t really know what the point was to this post, other than to acknowledge both of those.

Anyway, have a good Sunday, wherever you are in the world.


  1. Dear Robert, this is a historical post as your photos reflect changes that are unavoidable for all of us. Thank you for these touching flowers to the late Queen Elisabeth II & for an ugly monument of the 11th September. It makes ponder… 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Greetings from Paris!

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