Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Calm During The Storm: My Story of London

London's burning and it makes me sad.

I wasn't born or raised in this city, or even this country, but London is a place I've come to love, and one I call home.  To see all the needless destruction happening here breaks my heart. 

But it's times like these (crises) when I take stock:

1. My home is fine.

2. My neighbourhood is fine.

4. My livelihood is fine.

3. My loved ones are fine.

I know not everyone can say that, but it's what I'm choosing to focus on.  Does that sound selfish? Damn straight, it does.  I intend to be incredibly selfish, especially now.  I've got to focus inward before I focus outward.

I've also got a different story of London to tell you.  I remember a day, not so long ago, when thousands and thousands of people took to the street.  They were everywhere.  Central London was packed. Streets were closed. Police were out in full force.

The date? April 29, 2011.  The Royal Wedding.

My boyfriend and I were two of those people who hit the streets on that day. We were at Westminster Abbey, St. James' Park, and finally ended up in Hyde Park to watch the wedding on the big screens.  We packed a picnic, brought a bottle of bubbly and carried our flags: his a Union Jack, mine a Maple Leaf.

The atmosphere was electric. Just imagine:  Everywhere you looked, throngs of people were smiling, laughing, celebrating, cheering, toasting, crying tears of joy and yes, even dancing.

It was a day of happiness, celebration and romance.

It was a day of magic.

I remember thinking what an amazing experience it was to be in London on that day.  I remember thinking, I'm so glad I live here.

When we got home later that evening, we plopped down on the couch, exhausted and exhilarated.

It's a day I will always look back on and say "I was there."

It's also the way I choose to think of London.  It feels me with warmth and gratitude.  It reminds me why I love it here.  It's a better-feeling day for me to focus on.

Selfish? Yep. Feel Better? Definitely.