Thursday, July 19, 2007

My London

One of my closest friends who I went to grad school with last year when I did my MA just moved back home to Canada to continue grad school. So last night we all went out for his last night in town, and when I got on the N73 bus to go home at the end of the night, after having said our goodbyes, it really hit me. Not simply that my friend is leaving. But that I am leaving, too.

I'm leaving London in about a month. I don't know how I'm going to leave this city...how I'm going to live outside of this city.

London is the city where I can buy French camembert, Italian bresaola, and German bratwurst at the Borough Market on an early Saturday afternoon.

London is the city where I can eat waffles in Covent Garden.

London is the city where I can spend endless afternoons browsing vinyls (mainly those of the Factory Records variety, featuring the art of Peter Saville) at old school record stores on Berwick and Hanway Streets.

London is the city where I can dance to Saint Etienne playing live, up close and personal, in Finsbury Park.

London is the city where I can spend hours walking around with my iPod on daydreaming in the magical area that P and I hope to live in one day.

London is the city where I can walk inside buildings designed by my favourite architects, and glide through museums featuring the work of my favourite artists and designers.

London is the city where I can sit and eat white cheddar popcorn while having a really great conversation with a new friend on the Southbank of the river Thames.

London is the city where I can dance to the Smiths at the Albany with friends who have become old friends, and listen to live jazz on Brick Lane with new friends who I'd like to meet again.

London is the city where I can gaze out the window on a bus and smile at strangers on the streets of Southwark.

London is the city where I can spend hours on end browsing the shelves at Foyles and the smaller indie bookstores of Bloomsbury.

London is the city where I can lean out my window overlooking my little Fitzrovia street to watch the people go by while blasting my music through my Sennheisers, and wave at Gregory sitting on the groundfloor window ledge down the road.

London is the city where I can drink the most perfect coffee and witness the most perfect retail designs, both on Monmouth Street, and then sit amidst the colours and scents of Neal's Yard.

London is the city where I can find the perfect shoes for my adventurous feet in West Soho.

London is the city where I can relive the history of my own hometown in the glorious reading rooms of the British Library.

London is the city where I can dance with my eclectic mix of friends to bad Arabic pop at the King's Crown/Long Hope in King's Cross, and have a thoroughly enjoyable time as the old white British man sitting at the bar stares in wonder.

London is the city where I can play Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell on one of the most famous little jukeboxes in town.

London is the city where I can buy one new pair of Doc Martens a year on Kentish Town Road.

London is the city where I can invent brilliant new recipes using Polish kabanos sausages from Sainsbury's in my lovely fully-stocked kitchen.

London is the city where I can sit at an outdoor café in my urban village with my feet up on the plantpot right after a downpour but with the sun now shining, reading my book and watching the people go by.

London is the city where I can grab a Cornish pasty in the station before getting on a train to escape the hustle and bustle of urban living for a couple of days, but that I am thoroughly content to return home to once I've had my fix of fresh air and undisturbed sleep.

London is the city where I can push tourists out of my way in the tube station as I make my way home in a city that others visit, but that I have had the ultimate pleasure of calling my own over the past two years.

London is perfect...for me, and more importantly for me and my P. London is the city that defines everything that I, we, love about life. And although I have had to live the past two years here on my own, I hope, I know, that this is the city that we will one day call home together.

And so many people will just never know the real secrets to this city...and that suits me just fine.


  • I always thought u were doing or going to do your PhD?

    Best wishes to you Kleio

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/25/2007 6:02 am  

  • *gets a warm fuzzy feeling*


    By Blogger Erzulie, at 7/27/2007 1:27 pm  

  • Anonymous: I was doing my PhD. I quit. No I'm kidding!! I'm leaving for one year to do my fieldwork. Yeah, I'm this depressed about leaving, and I should be back in London in a year! :)

    Erzulie: Hey! It's been a while. How've you been?

    By Blogger Kleio, at 7/27/2007 1:41 pm  

  • Lovely post, my dear.

    By Anonymous Harmonie22, at 7/27/2007 3:34 pm  

  • I was wondering only yesterday..where is Kleio and her enjoyable posts (especially with my morning tea, no sugar please). SO I guess you have been busy packing and working on part os the research before coming back home.

    I had the same feelings you ere describing everytime I had to move from one place to another (4 different cities in the US and 1 town in England).

    By Blogger Traveleer, at 7/28/2007 8:36 am  

  • Traveleer: Aww, I'm glad you enjoy my posts! Actually, I haven't even started packing yet. I have a few more weeks for that. But I am doing lots of research right now.

    Yeah, moving is hard, especially when you really establish a close connection with the place in which you've been living. I mean, I'll only be gone for a year but the idea of readjusting to life - both life outside of London and life back in Kuwait - is strange. Plus I'm really going to miss my flat!

    I've had to do this several times before too...moving back and forth. And the older you get, the harder it gets to keep uprooting yourself!

    The one thing I am completely ecstatic about is being back with the people I love most in this world, all of whom are in Kuwait. My P, my family, and my close group of friends.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 7/28/2007 2:47 pm  

  • despite my "not-so-much-less-affection" than yours with London, your post made me emotional!

    best of luck :)

    By Blogger iDip, at 7/28/2007 4:10 pm  

  • quit. ayee! I believed you! I was like OMG! lol

    Good luck then with both your fieldwork and with adjusting to life in Kuwait :)

    oh and I agree with traveleer. Your posts are very enjoyable :) and smart.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/29/2007 8:08 pm  

  • Harmonie: Whoops, I missed your comment! Thanks sweetie. Are you in Kuwait at the moment? Will I see you when I get back or will you be back in the States? Stay longer stay longer!

    iDip: Yeah I've been kind of emotional lately so I guess I'm making it rub off onto other people. :)

    Anon: Haha no I'd never quit. I love this too much. And I'm honoured that you guys enjoy my posts. *blushes*

    By Blogger Kleio, at 7/29/2007 11:59 pm  

  • Hey hun. Unfortunately I never went back for the summer...long story, on-going battle with the State Department..my mom's coming into town too so it doesn't look like I will be there until December. I look forward to sitting outside with you at your chalet with the crew and singing (quietly) 'Release Me' and staring wistfully at the water, wishing it was warm enough to swim in :-)

    By Anonymous Harmonie22, at 7/30/2007 7:43 pm  

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