When a woman is tired of London, she is tired of life.

Oh, the child-like excitement as I near London. It starts as the train screams past stations which have the iconic Underground signs. I can’t make out the name of the station, but arghhh, not far now….
My fellow passengers begin to get their belongings ready to get off and I just sit there at the window looking out on London, taking it all in. Not having to move to let anybody out, what joy, I chill and absorb the city view as it whizzes past me.
It took me straight back to that trip to London when I was about to start my first ‘proper’ job after university. Then I didn’t quite know what I was getting into, I had planned to stay for a year or two, it was almost twenty years before I made the trek back up north again. Life never quite turns out as you planned both the plan for staying in London (longer) and going back to Scotland (never)! I’d made it by going to the big smoke, what came next had to be bigger and better – New York?
It’s usually never a pretty journey by train into the centre of a city, and with London so big, you go through a lot of city before you reach the station. I recognised buildings from that first journey, some of them were so brutal – bad, bad 60s,70s architecture and so close to the railway line. How can people live there, but that’s London.
Then I could see the BT Tower and shortly after we reach Euston with all its ‘heaving masses’. Packed with hundreds of people at the tail end of rush hour, some staring at the departure board, others weaving in and out of would be passengers trying to get to their platform. As well as the busy-ness and the heat on arriving, the diversity of cultures struck me so clearly. You couldn’t miss it, all there in my face, right in front me, wonderful! And how stylish everybody was, normally I like to think of myself as a well-dressed woman but I felt a bit of a country yokel.
I walk to Kings Cross to get the tube to Earl’s Court, the evening sunshine, the warmth, the buses the cars, the pedestrians, everybody has turned out, they’ve heard I’ve arrived. OMG I’m just taking it all in, who are these people, where are they going, what are they doing, I loved merging into the hubbub, but hating my case as it screamed visitor, no I’m not, I’m a LONDONER, okay, an adopted one. I topped up my Oyster Card and went to the Piccadilly Line platform picking up an Evening Standard on the way. That was always my journey home.. a scan of the latest news, bars, restaurants, shops and the weird and wonderful that makes London London and then onto the quick crossword and the easy Sudoko! There’s also a bit of people watching too and listening into other people’s conversation, always interesting. Today was no different.
I just missed a Wimbledon train at Earls Court, damn, but hey the gods were smiling, there was one a few minutes later AND I got a seat. It’s all going to plan.
A chilled glass of wine and I’m taking in the evening sunshine in my friend’s garden – I’m not tired!


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