It occurred to me recently that I still don’t really know London. Of course, having been trundling around the Borough of Greenwich for over a decade, I now know it quite well; I also go up to Stratford fairly often, so I know that area too. Yet as for London proper – the centre of this dense, sprawling microcosm – that is still as unfamiliar to me as some distant, far away land. Looking at the map though, it seems so enticing: names like Paddington, Marble Arch and Baker Street seem to evoke a place which I feel I should know by now. I am, after all, a Londoner, so in a way I want to know my way around it as well as other Londoners do.
The problem is, it’s just so vast, where can I even begin to explore it? It’s not as simple as hopping on the Tube, heading up into the centre of town and having a look around: how would I get home, for one? And what if I got lost, or ran out of powerchair battery? The city is so big, there will always be more of it to explore, so I can never know it entirely anyway.
Even so, London is still a place which fascinates me. I have fallen in love with it, and it entices me to follow all of it’s streets and paths to see what I might find. If London is indeed a microcosm – a cosmos made small, a world brought into one spot – then who could ever resist going and exploring it?