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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
12 Responses to “My love affair with London”
A great story with wonderful images. I’m going to London to visit the Queen.
Buckingham Palace will never be the same!
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.
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!
Nice piece Lee. They say that if you can remember London in the 60s – you weren’t there. I was and I do!
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!
This is how I feel about Brussels and Belgium as a whole. I love going back there and never tire of it.
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!
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!)
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.
Lovely Lee, we’ll be there next weekend and we’re staying very close to the Chelsea Embankment. Thanks for the tips and the photos.
Oh that’s wonderful! I hope you have a brilliant time. Give it my love…