London in a nutshell, is like second home to me.
Since childhood, London has always been swollen with imagery and stories from my favourite authors in the world. I read with such appetite that I would look forward to coming back home from school- to do nothing else but read. As a child, my London was one that was filled with raspberry tarts and English tea, gnomes and manicured gardens. Enid Blyton painted each and every one of the images in The Enhchanted Wood & The Faraway Tree so vividly.
As a child, I was hoodwinked into thinking that The Enchanted Wood is a real place.
Well into my teenage years, my impressions of London grew more varied. Come nightfall, London evenings are replete with men smoking tobacco out of premium pipes and tales of strict Victorian England grew in my mind as I read ‘Jane Eyre’.
And in the distance, young boys darted out of the factories, face covered with soot – such was Charles Dickens’ portrayal of industrial London. As a young adult, I began to wonder if London was split into London Above and London Underground, the way Neil Gaiman has blown my mind with Neverwhere.
London was like spending time with a childhood friend.
I spent most of the time in London traversing alone and in solitude, I became an observer of most things (nevermind that I was stuck in Heathrow Airport as my flight was delayed twice- the volcanic ash woes). Like how London’s Underground is so unreliable. It could be “closed for repair” at any day, without warning. Or London ‘s weather which varies from cloudy, to wet, to very wet. But I like London’s weather for the healthy dose of melancholy it brings. Most of all, I like London for the extremely affordable second-hand books (Ibought Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams for 2 pounds), the world’s largest antiques market in Portobello Road, arty-farty boutique shops in Covent Garden, the night vibe reverberating in the sleepless city and the ease of commuting to the countryside out of London (Oxford and Cotswolds), which will be for another day in another post.
#1 Outside Westminister Chapel
#2 ROKIT- fabulous and affordable Vintage clothes, bags, shoes. Available in Covent Garden and Camden Market.
#3 My favourite Vintage get-up! Rock with a dash of feminity.
#4 Caught Wicked the musical with Mel who dropped by London for a day.