My London is passing along the high street this Sunday morning.

The kid on rollerblades, weaving around as he tells his dad about the driving theory test requirements.

The pushchairs and wheelchairs, occupied by those at either end of life.

The lycra-d and hipster-bearded, the hungover and the church-goer.

My London is choosing whether to turn left towards Woodford and Waitrose, or right towards Leytonstone and Tesco, and hearing a snippet of The Archers whilst I’m in the car.  It’s the bus driver last night, who let me on even though my Oyster card was running low and then dropped me off at the end of my road because the bus stop is badly lit.

My London is the children I teach, who are worldly, inquisitive, in tune, aware; who represent so many cultures and countries, who are British and who call London home.  It’s the woman I chatted to on the tube last weekend as she juggled kids and suitcases, and the tourists who asked us both which station was best for walking to the flower show.

My London is heading into Zone 1 to wander amongst the crowds, meet friends, be energized and excited.  It’s how last year I finally overcame my fear of the central line, which began with a bad Bank station rush hour experience back in 2004.  It’s going to Bethnal Green to hear live music and being assaulted by smells and sounds and traffic and arts and interesting people.  It’s finding a Thai curry place near Covent Garden that does luxurious beef mussaman for six quid, or a weird gig venue with taxidermy in the toilets.

Your London is different to my London, and different to your neighbour’s.  And our Londons carry on today, and we carry on within it.  I love what this city makes me and what I can make of myself here.  So to answer the questions that have arrived on messenger from across the world, I’m ok this morning.  I’m angry and saddened, and so is my London.  But it is still so much more than terror.

st pauls from the bridge


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