Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My London Thoughts

I think about London for no other reason than that the journeys we took there were magical and special and I miss the city in some odd indefinable way. London-the real London, where people work and live and die-is not the London that I think about. Sales on New Cars and how to find a London flat mate don't much interest me. In fact, the idea of a flatmate seems quaint and so last century, or the century before.

No, it is just the Touristy stuff that I think about in London-though I seldom visit the museums in my own backyard, I think about the lure of having The Tate Modern or The British Museum close at hand. It's an odd longing, but not an unusual one, to be a tourist forever.

I have thought about being a travel writer, and spending time in London seeing all the things I have ever wanted to see. But travel writing is hard. I get old copies of the Year's Best Travel Articles, and they baffle me. I could never write these things. They must be twenty thousand words long and they have the pace and feel of a novel. I'm more of a Dave Barry sort of fellow, a few hundred words and off to the next topic.

But I would still like to go and see each of the many sights and devote a bit of effort to telling why it is worth seeing. I won't be running in The London Marathon or rooting for a Cricket team-I'll be eating fish and chips and watching the Thames drift through the heart of London.

Just a trip to London, a couple of weeks looking and taking photos and walking around and staring. My first trip to London I couldn't take five steps without stopping to take another photo, my second trip, well-it just London. But I never got around to a lot of what makes London great. I never took in a West End play, didn't make it to Kew Gardens and somehow didn't even know about the Greenwich Park, containing the Queen's House, the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Greenwich Observatory-and that whole Greenwich Main Time business.

So my list of things to do, or to do again, is ever changing and ever growing. Still, London should still be there. And who knows, maybe there will be more new London adventures by the time I get there.

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