I’m not tired of life…
Samuel Johnson famously wrote “When a man is tired of London he is tired of life.”
Well we popped into London last Saturday and I’m relieved to know, I’m a long way from that yet.
I’m lucky to live less than an hour from central London. Lucky too, that my eldest son chose to go to university in London. These things combined mean a) I get to go into the city regularly, and b) I get to see my son a lot, too. Much to his delight, obviously.
Last Saturday was his birthday. I can no longer say ‘my teenage sons’ because one of them isn’t anymore. Have I changed my biography? No. Because teenage sons is how I still think of them. I know they’re no longer babies, but I can’t quite fathom the idea of them being adults yet. They can both drive, vote and drink in a pub, but to me they’re still my children. And I guess until they actually buy me that drink in the pub, with money they’ve learnt themselves (I’m not holding my breath), they’ll remain that way.
Back to London. My son lives in West Kensington (student digs weren’t as palatial as that in my day) but we had a voucher to use, so headed off to Bloomsbury on the tube. After a lovely meal, my sons expected to get back on the tube.
I had different ideas. I wasn’t going to travel under the ground and miss all the sights London had to offer. Of course we’ve seen them before, but seeing them for the first time, or the one hundred and first, they still have the ability to lift my spirits. To stir my soul. To remind me of how fabulous our capital city is.
We walked to Trafalgar Square and down The Mall (apologies for poor photos – the sun behind Buckingham Palace didn’t help).
Then through Green Park and Hyde Park (the sun now in a more helpful position).
Finally we entered Knightsbridge
Maybe it was the sight of the shops. Maybe just tired legs, but my family chose this moment to rebel, and we caught the tube the rest of the way. It didn’t matter. By then I’d had my fill; my love of London was cemented once again, and my scampi and chips were no longer sitting heavily in my stomach.
Now to plan my next visit. ‘Are you going to apply to any universities in London?’ I asked my younger son on the way home.
I think you can imagine his reply.