The streets of London weren’t paved with gold when I was a student at London University but I had to move there to find that out for myself.
I was as impoverished as any student in those days of protests and riots against the removal of student loans and the introduction of poll tax.
I miss rallying and standing up for what I believe in but I don’t miss London itself. City life is not for me.
Decades later, returning with children of my own and keen to show them the places we spoke of in childhood nursery rhymes I saw the beauty of London for the first time. The London Bridge we sang about falling down was still standing, we passed churches whose bells rang out in the song Oranges and Lemons and even Buckingham Palace where the pussy cat must have visited the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen
Oh Pussy Cat Pussy Cat what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair.
You can see all London’s landmarks from the London Eye and take a moment to think about the history that’s been passed down and has become part of the British psyche. To think about the myths and stories that are built up around a place and the myths and stories that grow up around us.
London’s just a grey old town in many ways but I love those splashes of red in the double-decker buses and the soldier’s uniforms.
Like life London’s a jumble of mundane things and every day people punctuated by colourful moments. When you put all those things conflicting things together it becomes great.
Which is the way to London Town?
To see the King in his golden crown.
One foot up and one foot down,
To see the Queen in her silken gown.
Left, right, up and down,
Soon you’ll be in London Town.
Have you got any fond memories of London?