POSTCARDS, PADLOCKS AND JOHN LENNON

Last weekend SJ and I spent a few days in Prague – a beautiful old city and well worth a visit if you haven’t already been. We wanted to leave a memory of Russell, so went armed with a few postcards, and as luck would have it, a felt tip pen (!).

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One of the places on our list to visit was the John Lennon Wall. It was here, after John Lennon’s untimely death at the end of 1980 that the young people of Prague covered a wall in graffiti in his memory. The wall just happened to be the garden wall of a priory, and for about 10 years there was tension between the owners of the wall, the police and the graffiti artists. However, now all the graffiti is legal and anyone can add their own message to the wall – a good place to start sharing our memories of Russell. (Now you know what we used the felt tip pen for).

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Having always been a big fan of John Lennon, it was good to have been able to write our own message on the wall. In fact, 10 years ago we visited the botanic garden where the Double Fantasy orchid grows, and where John Lennon chose the name of this orchid to be the title of the last album before he died.

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Just around the corner from the wall was a small bridge with the railings covered in padlocks (a smaller version of the one in Paris). As we had no padlock, we left a postcard and continued on our way.

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On our last afternoon we wandered past the wall and bridge again, and the postcard had gone! So we left another one in the hope that it would also be found. We left a third card on a bench in the Palace Gardens. The gardens are Italian in style with an avenue of sculptures and a loggia decorated with frescoes of the Trojan Wars. Peacocks wander around the grounds and there is also an aviary of Eagle Owls. A perfect place to unwind after a long day’s sightseeing. As we were walking away we noticed a couple pick up the postcard, read it and take it with them – so another one found. Let’s hope they pass it on.

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To get to the John Lennon Wall and the gardens we had to walk across the famous fourteenth century Charles Bridge. At either end of the bridge are Gothic towers from which you can get a birds-eye view of the city, and also of the statues and street traders on the bridge.

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We hope that the small reminders of Russell that we have left around the city will be found by people who get in touch and will pass them on to help spread Russell’s memory around the world.

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