The Shard, to be the tallest building in Europe, is rising across the road from our small London pad. It is a strange symbol. Glass, glass everywhere – vulnerable? Strong? The demise of the British Empire seems to be en-captured in this beautiful design that towers above the grime and exhaust fumes, the crime and hashish fumes pervading London. An exquisite fairy-tale that echoes our dreams.
June mists veil the summit half hiding its splinters (are these part of the design or just an artefact of this stage of the development?). These shards rise proudly, risking danger from man-made madness, into the infinity of the skies.
Our Colonies have splintered. So too Great Britain these days with our shocking extremes of wealth and poverty – past fractures between peoples of different race or religion now take these new forms in this country, certainly in the London Capital. It is a fake nostalgia that encourages a longing for coherence of commonwealth that perhaps never was.