Out on my trundle today, I began to reflect to myself that the deeper I fall in love with London, the more I miss the person who introduced me to it. I still miss Lyn, and probably always will. It was only after she invited me to move in with her, twelve years ago, that I began to really get to know this epic, sprawling metropolis. I have grown to love it’s cultures and people; it’s skyscrapers and parks. Its history and its surge into a brilliant future. Had I never met Lyn, I would not be here now, and I would never have fallen in love with this vibrant, amazing city.
Yet the fact remains that I had tastes of London before 2010: growing up, during my childhood and adolescence, my parents used to bring my brothers and I down to the city to visit my grandparents. The capital has always been part of my life, more than, say, Liverpool, Birmingham or even Manchester. I have always had a relationship with London, although it was only through Lyn that that relationship became one of such intoxicated fascination.
My grandparents too are no longer with us now, though, leaving me more or less alone in the city. Of course I miss my grandparents just as I miss Lyn, and all three are deeply linked to this city for me. It’s true that the more I get to know London the more I love it, yet the deeper I miss the incredible people through whom I got to know it. I suppose London is now a different place for me: no longer the comfortable family house of weekends with my grandparents; nor the London of Lyn’s bungalow in Charlton – the London of coffee in Charlton park, music and concerts and getting up late. This is now a different London, a third London – my own London. And while it may always remind me of the people who brought me here, it also reminds me to go out and explore it, relishing the vibrant, intoxicating, wonderful life the city offers, just as they did.