London Love

London was the first city I, farm-born and wilderness-drawn, ever learnt to love: and the city in which I learnt to really love, rather than operating predominantly from a ‘need’ to be loved. It is a city in which my heart sometimes felt torn apart, but in reality was merely cracked wider open, teaching me to appreciate life with a greater intensity.

In order to more fully embrace the lovely small town I now call home, and all the changes that come with moving continents, shifting lifestyles and being far from many loved ones, I wish to allow myself to mourn and celebrate all that I miss, which doesn’t mean forgetting the lonely times, the challenges, or the pain, but focusing for now on remembering some of my favourite moments over the years. This barely scratches the surface, but tonight I miss…

The exhilarating view from the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Daffodils, tulips, crocuses and snowdrops in Spring.

Crocus joy
Wandering through Greenwich.
The sound of the train wheels on the track.
Freshly-fallen snow.
Fireworks over Blackheath
Blackheath fireworks

Strolling along the banks of the Thames.
Exploring castles.
Running over London Bridge or the Millennium Bridge on my way to work, pausing to watch the sun rise behind Tower Bridge.

London Swan
Watching Purple Rain in the rain.
Lunches and cocktail specials at the Vineyard pub, Upper Street, near the office.
The Tube (yes, really – you don’t value it until you live without a public transport system!)
Christmas lights at Covent Gardens.
Ice skating outdoors.
Autumn colours.
Sitting in the park chatting to friends while the kids played.
Hot chestnuts.
Exploring the Green Route on my runs.
Central heating.
The satisfaction of really getting the hang of kneading bread dough, and the delicious smell of it baking in my cosy kitchen.
Hot showers after winter paddles.
Picking plums and blackberries in the local Nature Reserve.
Visits from friends and family from around the city, country and world.
Watching my boys learn to ride their bikes at the local park.
Wonderful hours with many incredibly special people.
Cycling along Regent’s Canal.


6 thoughts on “London Love

  1. What a lovely reflective post Laurel. There are different qualities to be expeienced from all different ways of life I guess. I was born in Essex but we moved up north when I was 5 so for me my memories of London are quite negative. All I can remember is hating going there because I had seen the horse guards and was terrified of them! Of course we have since visited with the children and I learned to appreciate it more but to be honest it still makes me shudder. 😊X

    1. Thanks Christine. It is interesting how our experiences shape our feelings for places, and I’m so sorry to hear your memories of London have never shifted your feelings for the city to positive ones!

  2. Lovely reflections, Laurel, beautifully expressed. 23 years after returning to the US from England, where I lived for 16 years, I feel closer than ever to a time that was wonderful and difficult and lonely and transforming. I think mostly of the things that made me richer and my memories kinder. I can’t imagine my life without the breadth of the experience living in the UK gave me, and so I understand what you express here about your life in London. XO ♥

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