Cities fascinate me. The bustle and business, the unexpected quiet in some corners and the explosion of noise and activity just around the corner. The shops, the cafes, the chains my own hometown is too small for. The variety, the choice, the opportunities for something new every day. There’s always something going on, something new you can try. It’s so different from living in a small city, barely a city at all – living in the same place for sixteen years, there’s nothing new to me anymore. But London – I feel like in London I could live in the same place for sixteen years and still find new things to do and new places to visit every week, if not every day. The lights are bright and I’m blinded, till my view of reality shifts and slides and suddenly I’m living here and my life is full of fun and laughter and quirky spots for lunch and less quirky chain cafes that are still more exciting than home. I imagine the time passing, Big Ben ticking my days away, becoming familiar with the South Bank and all the museums and parks and tucked-away corners, discovering new things every year. I feel as though I would never be London-saturated, there would always be something new, something interesting and exciting. Something better than home.
Startled back to alertness, I gaze over the river, my hands gripping the cold iron railing and quietly reveling in the aliveness the wind whipping my face gives me. It feels as though its scouring away at the old me, the small-town me, and giving way to the new, London me, the me intoxicated by thronging crowds and lively streets and lofty skyscrapers. I breathe in the grey, polluted air, and even that doesn’t bother me. I turn so my back is to the Thames and I watch the people passing by, the happy couples, the stressed students, the young children and the elderly looking so out of place in this vibrant, young city. I exhale deeply and a sense of quiet happiness settles over me. A sense of home.
So there’s my first bit of writing, my CAS has officially begun! I’d love to hear any feedback 🙂