People talked often about the Covent Garden Square. It was laid down in 1630s, and the first small shops around it had already made a name for themselves.
People always talk about the good things when they want to forget all the tragic ones.
I must have been less than 12 months old, in 1665, when the Great Plague came and changed everything. In most places, London of course, Cambridge as well. The more people in a city, the easier the disease could spread. But in less than 12 months from that, the Great Fire in London made people run away once more.
They say it was set by accident, when some ovens caught fire, in one of the King Charles II bakers. But, you see most of London’s houses were wooden, so, the fire spread easily. It was September. Those who could get out of the city did so. Many gathered on nearby heaths like Hampstead.
The heat created by the fire was so great that the lead roof on the old Covent Garden’s St Paul’s Cathedral, melted. Many saw the lead flowing down the street. But the actual human casualty rate was remarkably small with possibly only 5 people dying in this fire.
Most people remember the Great Fire and talk about it, forgetting that three months ago, in June 1666, 1000 men were killed and 2000 were taken prisoners in the 4 day war, the second Anglo-Dutch war.
At that time, war was ordinary I suppose. But fire in central London wasn’t.
The Great Fire burned down 84 churches and the old St Paul’s. However, it had also destroyed the filthy streets associated the Great Plague. The fire sterilised it and consequently did London a favour since now the city’s authority’s had to re-build and re-plan the city.
I was always afraid of the fire. I guess everybody was. Is.
All the stories that you hear when you are a young child, of houses that got burnt, of people who didn’t manage to run and save themselves.
My two worst enemies: the plague and the fire.
Do we know what is coming in our life, even if we do not realise it? Where do our worst fears come from? I lost both my parents by these two fears of mine. Not because of my fear. But because my nightmares became my reality!
I always thought actions define who we are. Some times fear, too. I envy Alex, because some times he acts like he never came face to face with fear in his life.
This helps us all, I admit. I wish I had met him a bit earlier, though.