British Intelligence – just letting me know that they know

British Intelligence, also known as MI6, recently gave me a call on my mobile phone!  In case you are wondering why they would do this, here’s the story.

In one of the last James Bond movies to star Pierce Brosnan, The world is not enough, James Bond blasts out of the MI6 building on the Thames River in London on a high speed boat,

So on a recent trip to London I was eager to see the real building, which is located in the center of London on the Thames River at a place called Vauxhall Cross. Since there were no “do not photograph” signs I walked all around the building and took lots of snaps!  And . . . I was able to confirm my sneaking suspicion: it turns out that the building is set so far back from the Thames that it would have been impossible for James Bond to blast out and land in the river.

It’s a pretty impressive building from the side:

And it’s even a bit more impressive from the front:

Anyway, I was so impressed that I texted a snap to my father on my Swiss mobile phone.

I think that was the magic moment that set everything into motion, the text message to my Dad.

About 2 minutes later I received a call. We don’t need to go into details, essentially one of the worst Swiss German accents I’ve ever heard. I think the main point was just to let me know that they knew. And by the way, I’m also guessing that they really didn’t know: I’ve had a number of run-in’s and encounters with real spies in my life (one of whom remains a very good friend, and one a Russian KGB officer who taught me how to make pickled cabbage), so I’m very sure if they looked in the right databases I would have been speaking to them face-2-face.

Of course, it piqued my curiosity as to the history of this place (Vauxhall Cross, not the MI6 building).  It dates back to the 13th century to a man named Faulkes who had a big house in this area. People called the house Faulke’s Hall which eventually morphed into Fox Hall which eventually then became Vauxhall.