Friday, May 8, 2009

London Love-In

For the past month I've been working away on a non-fiction project -- a London travel guide -- for a deadline of today. It's been a great deal of fun and hard work, and has completely rekindled my love for London. I always knew it was a great city, but researching art collectives, late-night plubs (a unique combination of pubs and clubs all in one) and quirky museums has really made it evident that London is a city like no other. Of course, nothing in London is really 'hidden' anymore, but if you're not a local with five years to uncover it, you're probably not going to find that 24-hour Italian cafe or the world's longest playing composition (1000 years).

It's ironic that all of this comes just days before my five-year London anniversary. I arrived in the city on May 11, 2004. When I left Ottawa, the trees were barely coming out and spring had only just started. In London, everything was green and the air was balmy. I remember the drive from Gatwick to my flat in Highgate through the early morning M25 traffic, the mist rising from the hills. Later that day I wandered down Camden High Street, filling my eyes with the grungy shoe shops, tatty market ware and the prerequisite punks -- and I couldn't help smiling. I was in London, everywhere I looked was something interesting, and I couldn't wait to start my new life.

Five years later, I still have the same sensation (although this time on Kensington High Street, in west London). I love being surrounded with the history of the city, the push and pull of people from around the world expressing themselves and trying to make their way. The fact that museums are free, that you can wander through plethora of markets city-wide, that you can part all night in an undeground vault... and more.

I love London!


Kate @ Très Lola said...

I love it too... I've only been here since last August.. and am on a working holiday visa but I dread the day when I run out of money & can no longer legally work and need to fly back to Australia. I've actually been thinking a terrible lot about it this week & it's an overwhelming feeling... there is so much to London .. to do & to see and if I spend even just a day doing nothing but writing in the common by my house I feel guilted that I didnt go & discovering something or somewhere new. I need more time here ... I want to do London without a time crunch.

Marsha said...

It is hard to get it all in, I agree! The thing to do is just pick an area and wander around... and just enjoy it!