I nipped to London and back today to visit a good friend. Having taken the cheap red-eye Eurostar, I had some time to burn early on a Sunday morning in one of my favourite pastimes – wandering around London. And that is how I came across this blue plaque, at 21 Tavistock Place. Vladimir Ilyich Lenin lived in this house in 1908, close to the British Museum reading room, where he was preparing materials for his writing on Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, published the following year. As this essay recounts, Lenin was a frequent visitor to London. He liked the city and would take long rides on the top of the bus or visit the zoo. (London became an important haunt of the exiled revolutionaries, particularly once police persecution made Brussels unviable. Stalin and Trotsky were also frequent visitors.) Now then, here is a Trivial Pursuits question: what is the connection between Lenin, Bob Dylan and a pub on the Gray’s Inn Road called The Water Rats? Answer: the pub, which used to be called The Pindar of Wakefield, was Lenin’s local; as The Water Rats it swapped from music hall to modern music and it was here, in December 1962, that Bob Dylan played his first ever British gig.