travel and life with lee mylne

My love affair with London

“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” So wrote the 18th century essayist and poet Samuel Johnson. He could easily have said “woman” instead of man. I know I will never tire of London, no matter how many times I visit.

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Battersea Bridge

Going back this year was like visiting an old friend. I spent several years living there on my first big travelling adventure as a 20-something, and this wonderful pulsing city holds a special place in my heart. My links with London are tenuous now, all the friends I knew in those long-ago days have either moved on – to less hectic lives in other parts of the UK – or moved home to Australia and New Zealand.  And it has been a decade since my last visit to England. But the old mansion flats where I lived, the pubs where I would meet my friends, and the church where I got married are all still there, providing lasting links that bind me to London.

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The Cross Keys at Hammersmith, an old haunt. I found myself staying next door!

But at the same time as I trip down memory lane, I’m aware that London has also changed a lot in recent years – and for the better, I think! It’s got a buzz about it, there are lots of new things to see – as well as the traditional attractions – and a modern vibe that I love.

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Inside the tube station at Tottenham Court Road.

I only had a couple of days to spend there, but I revelled in today’s London. I walked along the Thames embankment, rode the Tube to get around, and ate alone in friendly pubs. I saw a few sights, but mostly I just enjoyed soaking up the little bits of London that I found myself in.

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Getting around by tube is so easy.

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Clever station signage on the London Underground.

I had “High Tea” at the ever-so-swish new Sanderson Hotel in Fitzrovia, gazed in antique shops in Chelsea, soaked up an English country garden, and I remembered how wonderful this city is. The sun shone too, which added to my joy in being back.

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In the lobby of the trendy Sanderson Hotel. I wasn’t staying there!

So while I was a tourist – and felt like it at times – there is always a sense of homecoming when I get to London, rare though those occasions are. It fits like a comfortable shoe.

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Fancy footwear on the tube.

So this is not a travelogue, just a little wander through some random streets of London. Here are a few more images. Go there sometime – you will love it!

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Twenty-one Egyptian style benches were installed along the Chelsea Embankment in 1874.

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Statue of Sir Thomas More on the Chelsea Embankment.

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Houseboats near Battersea Bridge.

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Houseboats on the Thames near Battersea Bridge.

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Battersea Bridge and yes, a pink London taxi!

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How much is that doggy in the window?

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12 Responses to “My love affair with London”

  1. The Global Goddess

    I couldn’t agree more. There’s something about the tube smell that brings melt away the years and all of a sudden you are a young backpacker again. It’s awesome.

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      Ah yes…smell can be so evocative, can’t it? I’m not sure if it’s the smell of the Tube that I like; I think for me it’s more the noise – that rush of air as the train’s arriving!

      Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      So they say…but I was there much later, and I remember most of it! Late 70s and early 80s. No matter the era, I think London is always great fun – for young and old!

      Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      I’ve passed through Belgium but never really spent any time there. Might be time to add it to my wish-list for next time I’m in Europe. I’m going to check out what you might have on your blog about it!

      Reply
  2. Amanda Kendle (@amandakendle)

    Lovely! I have never quite fallen in love with London but I have a couple of days there again next year so I’m going to continue to try. (Perhaps the problem is I usually just go there on the way to somewhere else – I should give it a proper go instead!)

    Reply
    • A Glass Half Full

      Definitely! Total immersion for a while is recommended. Do all the touristy things, but spend some time just wandering around, soaking up the atmosphere is my recommendation.

      Reply

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