Saturday, 15 January 2011

London: nothing to write home about

A buzzard swaggers on foot through a muddy field, like a bow legged farmer wearing thick, feathered trousers. A dead badger at the roadside is headless, its innards spilling out in silly string where its neck should be.

We leave The Enchanted Village shrouded in mist as we head for London. On the radio, talk of deficits, job cuts, restructuring and redundancies vies with inane phone-ins about breastfeeding.

At Canary Wharf, people stride out with no time to look while others sit at tables drinking foaming, unreal coffee. Windows full of clothes no-one wants. Newness, lights, shiny surfaces, signs, artificiality.

On the tube there are guarded looks. A free Evening Standard left on a seat, iPads, germs. There are passengers texting Twitter messages to strangers while completely disengaged with their fellow man sitting right by their side.

I head home, weary, and with a massive headache.

That's about it

Love Maddie x


  1. Hi,

    I have to say it - you're tweeting complete strangers too!

    I'm sorry you had what sounds like a horrible experience. I don't love the tube and have only been to Canary Wharf once - and agree that it's horrible. But it's certainly not all there is to London.

    My London is quite different from what you're describing. I feel surrounded by warmth and friendliness, buffered against the strong winds that are shaking the trees outside. Where I live, the cafes are full of people meeting their friends and taking their children to the park. It's where my friends are, and my family. My history and my memories are here and can be traced in the streets and the architecture. It can be harsh, but it can be beautiful too, and exciting.


  2. Not your place to be in the world and perhaps not mine either, but they are people, with lives, maybe as different as yours is to mine. However, bad coffee is unforgivable.

  3. I'd say that you had a less than successful trip to London - doesn't sound very appealing at all. I guess every big city shares the sort of unpleasantness that you've described - but I can't help thinking I'd rather be surrounded by it all in London than Toronto!
    Just a minute - I take some of that back - Vancouver is fabulous and it is difficult to ever feel out of sorts while one is surrounded by the mountains and see that define the city.

  4. I'm so glad you have an Enchanted Village, a cozy home, and a beloved Mister to head home to! Sweet haven...

    Hope your headache is gone.


  5. I can't help but wonder why you went? Pleasure?

  6. I worked seven years in the city before I retired.
    I hated it.
    But needs be.
    When I left I vowed never to return,
    and I haven't.
    Someone once said to me -
    "Treat London like a prison.
    Do your time - and then get out"
    Mind you, it makes you appreciate all the more, what you have back home.

  7. I have experienced time in London and left feeling exactly as you did, but sometimes, given a bright sunny day, a trip down the Thames can make me feel so entrenched in history I can almost feel the ghosts around me. I do agree though, we all need to be aware of sleep walking into accepting the 'fake' instead of the 'real' stuff in our lives - so much better for the soul. xxx

  8. I hate cities and, could never live in any of them. That's the point, you have a choice!


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