I left my life in London - a life I remember as being full and involved, one that took me to all corners of the City and more windy streets than a Dickens novel. A life that, within the space of one day, was completely erased. Sometimes I think of life still going on there as usual, and it's odd.
London doesn't care. London is the grand city, the magnificent, intimidating city. Its history is richly embedded in every brick and every paving stone in its majestic streets. Its architecture - an eclectic side-by-side amalgamation of old and modern. Its buildings cast imposing shadows over its workers, residents, tourists. Life moves fast there, unforgiving.
I loved London. And I detested it.
I worked for a top PR firm in the West End; I was in a choir and sang in the City's concert halls; I lived in a loft apartment in a 16th Century school house conversion in a nice part of town; I lived in a flat barely large enough to swing a cat in a ropey part of town; I swam in the Waldorf's swimming pool four times a week; I commuted on dirty, overcrowded, overheated underground trains every day; I brushed shoulders with celebrities so often it wasn't remotely interesting any more.
In the hopes of illustrating the London I remember, I rummaged through old digital files. But I didn't find a shot of the Soho street where my favourite Thai restaurant lived, or the road my office was on, or the road between my office and Covent Garden where I walked most days for a coffee, or the pub where I first shared a beer with J, or the stretch along the South Bank where we used to walk.
I found these random shots instead.
A little Ford "Ka". They're not even sold in Calgary - the City where the SIZE OF YOUR VEHICLE MATTERS. Where Hummers and giant trucks would laugh at my little "Ka" and squish it with one wheel.
This is J in the publishing house he worked for. Looking very swanky and professional (and hot, if I might add).
I couldn't find a picture of me in my old job, so you'll just have to imagine me sitting at a desk, talking on the phone and looking very industrious and important. Yeah.
Or, here's a picture of me dressed as a nun. Will that do?
Thirty minutes before this shot was taken, late for the fancy dress party because of some stupid client deadline, I (far left) jumped in a black taxi with another faux nun and proceeded to get changed out of my work outfit and into my nun outfit in the taxi, much to the horror of the cab driver.
In true cabbie style, the driver peered over his shoulder and said to me, "'Ere, love, you're not gonna keep doin' that are ya? I've got people lookin' in 'ere wondrin' what the 'ell's goin' on!".
Fun times in London town.