London is a beautiful city. As I strolled through the city today I was struck (as I often am) by how lucky I am to call this city home. Sure it can be loud and busy and a little abrupt, but I'm constantly blown away by the big, impressive, London-ness of it all.
This evening I walked from Green Park to Liverpool Street, pausing midway for ramen and Merlot with the lovely Katie. It's a decent swathe of the city and I love the journey through so many different parts of town.
You start at Green Park, passing through the arches of the Ritz, the juxtaposition of town cars spewing out new people to check in or play a little baccarat at the club, suits fresh from work, and homeless guys just trying to get some change for dinner.
On down St James's to Pall Mall, past the cigar shops, the yacht emporiums and the members' clubs. On to Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery and St Martin's coming into view, then behind you as you bear down on the Strand.
Past tourists and theatres, buses and black cabs. A quick glance at St Clement Danes and a remembrance of that happiest of days. Through the legal district, lights burning on and on, chalk protest signs scrawled on the pavements outside the Royal Courts of Justice, waiting for rain to dissolve and destroy them.
A pause for food and chat and rest, then onwards.
Up Ludgate Hill to the majesty of St Paul's, the dome so imposing and grand. Past the columns of the Bank of England and the winding streets, so small, beneath the gargantuan towers of the financial district: Gherkin, Natwest, Heron.
And then to Liverpool Street, to crowds and trains and warmth and home.
What a pleasant walk.
What a magnificent city.