The places we spend the most time soak into our bones, they become a lightbulb or dead-end for the imagination. Choosing the canvass of our stories has a strong influence on the chapters we end up writing, attention must be paid. Living in London is more than a lifestyle choice, for me as a writer it’s a necessity. The heart wants what it wants, mine chose London ten years ago when I rocked up with a red suitcase and relentless enthusiasm for adventure. Every day has provided fresh inspiration, weaved in the nooks and crannies of London life. The parks, café’s, dimly lit bars, and stranger’s conversations. Four months of country life has reconfirmed my love for the city. As much as I adore my Dad’s garden, I am not ready to exchange the ‘buzz’ for the lawn mower just yet. After two days back in the big smoke I am overflowing with gratitude for finding the place I call home and hope to for many years to come. They say three times the charm, so here I share a few reflections on what I feel is the centre of London’s vibrant heartbeat.
London is a castle of resilience. You know you’re a Londoner if the words ‘business as usual’ makes you jump with joy. I did, the minute they spread like wildfire swinging doors back open across the city. No sooner than Boris announced the news I was hot footing my way back home. The spirit of London lives inside me ‘the show must go on’ resonates with my soul. Being socially distant has strengthened the value of being socially present. Isnt that the real reason Londoner’s are filling the parks, local café’s, and stores. It says more than throw caution to the wind, it says we stand together, take my hand in the language of London.
Gym floors re filled beyond a desperation to lose a few pounds. Many have emerged from lockdown, fitter and stronger. I for one have the self- discipline of a soldier when it comes to personal fitness still, there are so many lonely runs and river walks this girl can take. After a while as much as I adore nature even the novelty of swans, birds and endless fields of flowers wears off. We want to see the new and old faces of fellow gym goers and enjoy a bit of banter in the changing rooms, it’s good for the soul.
Next up has to be the misfits, this net casts anyone that comes to London and chooses to stay. Welcome, you belong here it whispers as it finds subtle mirrors to show you your worth. Be it in new friends, new experiences and new opportunities. You realize no one ever comes from London, it’s a city people come to. It is a hotpot of stories and a springboard of hope. It is a playground providing misfits the freedom to be themselves. Off the leash of conformity, we are allowed to grow, pursue dreams and explore where they can take us. London does not just tolerate misfits, it celebrates them, they are part of its fabric. Misfits are a source of pure inspiration, and London is the biggest lucky dip of them in the world.
You never know what the day will bring
If there was a welcome board to the city of London it would probably read something like ‘life here is a little bit nuts.’ Would you drive in or drive away? I guess I am the kind of girl that would put my foot down. Life in London is a little bit crazy. Even ten years on having hung up the party shoes that danced their way through the night life of the West-end and Soho in my twenties. I have the hallmarks of a simple life, a morning routine and try and get my eight hours. I still wake up every day not quite knowing what the day will bring. Unusual coincidences, chance meetings, a change of direction, unexpected decision or new friend. More happens in a day in London than a week in the country, I relish in the possibility of the unexpected. That was a promise that London made me the day I arrived. There are many things that will let you down in life, men, marriage, movie sequels though if you are looking for endless possibilities and inspiration, London won’t. It has an energy that you bounce through the day on, if I could bottle it and name it, it would be called ‘London’s heartbeat’.