“Have you been to Great Britain before?” asked the Immigration Official. “Yes,” I answered. “When was that?” I paused, and thought. “I don’t remember. It’s been at least six or seven years.” “That was a long time ago,” she said. Yes, I thought. It was.
Why had it been so long? I forget how much I love the UK, London in particular. I’m delighted simply to speak to people. I love hearing their accents; I love how polite and proper folks are. The city is so ultimately walkable and museums are free. And fish and chips. And black cabs where the seats fold down and you can ride backwards, seeing all that you’ve passed. And signs, reminding you to be careful: “Mind The Gap” and “Look Left” and “Stand Right.” And Big Ben. And tea served in dainty fine china cups. And beautiful, old train stations, with new trains that run on time. And theater, so much theater. And shop clerks who call you “love.” And cobblestone streets that cause you to take care so you won’t twist an ankle. And poets, sitting along the river Thames, offering to type you a poem on a manual typewriter:
Over there is a
big salty puddle called the Atlantic
in the other direction, another
even bigger puddle, that one we
call the Pacific. The difference is
Pacific folks are handsome and eat
a lot of grapef ruit and avocado
The people of the Atlantic are very
clever but ill formed. They read
the New Yorker a nd the London
review of Books but they don’t unde
stand the word ‘lifestyle’ they
invented that stuff on the Pacific
Rim. Brunch, decking in the garden
barbecues and long walks along the
This, London, is a place for drinking
drinking is not a lifestyle
it’s an occupation.
6 thoughts on “A Day in London”
I love London too, Lori Loo! I lived outside London in So Ascot (think “Ladies Day at the racetrack) for 1.5 yrs. It was a nice 45 min train ride to the grand Waterloo station. Don’t forget the “lumpy pubs,” as I like to call them. London is filled with their charm. And, the farther into the countryside you go, the pubs get lumpier (the ceilings get lower, the floors undulate more, there may be a few hundred more layers of paint on the walls, and the flames – for heat, or that big kettle of soup – get closer to where you’re sitting!) I’m overdue for another trip.
What a great experience living there! Thanks for the recommendations on the lumpy pubs 🙂
I hope you had a blast
I did! 🙂
Such a lovely article! I am too in love with london!!