It’s official, guys: I’m absolutely smitten with London. I say that as if it weren’t already obvious, but in case there was any doubt, hear (read?) me loud and clear now: I am head over heels for London.
“What spurred this realisation, Sam?”
Good question, o perceptive reader. Let me tell you.
This weekend, my friend Jessica (in my Fiction for Young Readers module; known since the airport; hails from California) and I decided to take a walk along the South Bank. For those of you who don’t speak London, that means the southern side of the Thames, following a path that took us past landmarks such as the Shard, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, Palace of Westminster, Big Ben, the Eye, Shakespeare’s Globe, the Tate Modern (which looks more like a prison than a museum from that angle, tbh), and Lambeth Palace. It was lovely and magical. I was overly ambitious about our journey (thinking we might make it about twice as far as we actually did), but we did follow it up with a walk into the centre of the city, where we visited Trafalgar Square and Leicester Square (where we saw Cate Blanchett and Topher Grace!).
“But Sam, haven’t you seen all of these things already?”
Alright, sassy pants. Let’s get one thing straight. If I ever don’t melt when I see Big Ben, I have been body-napped and you need to do something to save me. Don’t you have things you like to see over and over again? Mine happens to be a clock. Not weird at all, I promise.
Also, that was from the north side of the river. This was from the south side. Big enough difference for me.
And plus, I kind of expected to see some monks playing Frisbee when I walked past Lambeth Palace, but it turns out you can’t see the courtyard from the path.
“Wait, monks playing Frisbee? I’m confused.”
There’s a monastic community of 21-35 year olds living at Lambeth Palace this year learning about prayer and theology and service and other exciting things. One of them came to my church last week, and he seemed like such a normal guy, which is, let’s face it, not what you think of when you hear “monastic community.” In fact, he told me that he really loves Ultimate Frisbee. Hence the expectation of Frisbee-playing monks. But, as I said, I couldn’t see the courtyard, so it will forever be a mystery to me.
“Is it as warm there as it is here?”
Probably not, unless you’re reading from Russia. Or England, of course. It’s what I think of as perfect autumn weather (we don’t say fall here): highs around 60F and cloudy, with the occasional sunny day. A girl at work described fogginess in London perfectly when she said that London is better suited in the gloom because it has a coziness about it.
“Is it not going to get way too cold for you there?”
I may have come more recently from Hotlanta, but are you forgetting about Boone? Psh. I’ll be fine. I love the cold.
“Aren’t you going to Wales soon?”
Yes! I’m going this weekend. It’s going to be such a quick trip (just Friday morning through Sunday morning), but I’m going to hike what is known to be one of the most beautiful parts of the Welsh coast. I’ll be sure to write a post as soon as I get back.
“Whatever happened with that job that was ending?”
I got a new placement within HarperCollins! I’m so bummed to be leaving children’s, obviously, but I’m super excited for my new role in Women’s Fiction, which will last until I come home for Christmas. It should come with increased responsibility and range of work, so it will be a great learning experience.
“So what does all this mean? Are you never, ever, ever coming back?”
Whoa nelly, let’s slow down. It’s cute that you miss me so much, but I’ve still got ten and a half months plus left in this place before I have to move (or not move). No decisions are made yet, and there are a lot of factors involved (not the least of which is how incredibly difficult it is to get a job over here if you’re from outside the EU). I do really, really love it here, but I haven’t abandoned you all in my heart just yet. You have your time with me at Christmas to woo me back to your side.
“When are you going to post more fiction for us to read?!”
Okay, so, none of you are asking me that. None of you read my fiction when I post it anyway. But there will be some soon, I pinky swear. I’m working on getting more into my rotation, including book and travel reviews. Stay tuned.
Anyway, I love you all, and I really do miss you. ‘Til next time!