Saturday, July 28, 2012

last london post

I really hesitated about how I was going to write this last London post. In truth, I did hardly anything of note today. I got off the train at Covent Garden and just...walked around for a couple of hours. No rampant photo-taking because I just wanted to enjoy the sunlight. When I got tired I sat in a cafe and read my book while sipping tea. I thought perhaps I should do something special to round off my first day in London but my plans fell through with a friend and I find myself back at the hotel, watching television.

To be honest, I think my satisfied lethargy comes from the feeling of having done what I came to do. Everything on my list has been ticked off, completed with efficiency and thoroughly enjoyed. I've had the best time - met some wonderful people and gotten quite a lot braver! Really, I don't know why I was so nervous about doing things on my own in the first place?

I'm not exactly looking forward to going home - Perth is still not the place I want to be (sorry), but London and I must part ways...for now.

So I'm home now. I'm feeling ambivalent. Home is a return to reality - I'm not ready for that! But I'm off to Canada soon, and then Melbourne. So I will enjoy being home with my family while I have the chance. It is basically the last chance I will have to be Ashlee, At Home.

My mother asked me what my favourite thing about London was. I didn't say the shopping or the food. In truth, it was London itself - the city. It is saturated in history - layer upon layer of people, their feelings, their lives. That's what I love the most.

I learnt early on, to always look up in London. You never know what you will see - whether it's some beautiful street art or installation, or whether it's just the way the light plays against the building or the water or it's some beautiful heritage facade above a kebab shop. I went for weeks going past these buildings on the way to college, without realising that if I had turned ten degrees to the right I could see Big Ben through the London Eye - a sudden and fleeting view between two non-descript buildings which made my heart soar.

London always surprises me - in little ways - the ways I love best. I'll be back, don't you worry. But there's a lot more surprises for me to discover out there. So for now, Home - and all the warmth and relaxation that comes with that.

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