A huge contrast from the empty roads and high sheep-to-people ratio of Iceland, London was dense and occasionally curt. I had forgotten how much I thrived on the hustle: skirting between a maze of people in the tube, picking up speed, getting wrapped up in underground heat. London moves quick and romances you with the draw of royalty and history, often leaving you with tired feet. We saw theatre (Wicked was absolutely spectacular!!), chatted for hours over high tea, ate scotch eggs at Borough Market, and had more pub food than I have in my entire life, but even more, we found little pieces of home in the rain and in bright gardens. I’ve always loved botanical gardens, the way everything feels close and rises above your head, leaning in close, like a roof whispering a secret in your ear.
One thing that I’ve been so grateful for is the unexpected amount of people that I knew in London. It’s just a small handful, but it was the best having people who work hard to make sure you have a good time. Thank you friends, for making this trip so great!
Sometimes you meet someone and your heart screams, “You know me! You know me! Already, you know me!” and for me, this is Corina. I’m not undermining the friendships that have been built over time and effort, because those are worth it, believe me. But it is a gift to be with explanation. It is more rare than you think to be known.
Today we trickled in and out of Shoreditch shops, smelling candles and flowers, running our hands over ceramic and leather, and of course, dreaming over clothes we will never have the money to buy. We licked pastry crumbs off our fingertips, shared stories (so many stories!), and wandered in the London rain. Everywhere she took me was my new favourite place.
We went to Rough Trade, and I showed her a Tobias Jesso Jr. album, because I would describe them both the same way: instantly familiar, nostalgic from the first listen, a piano ballad that reminds me of home. There are some people who you can see their courage and loneliness all at once, and it is the bravest thing.
Thank you for lending me your London for the day, Corina!