This Country Mouse, this bumpkin, loves a trip to London. I love visiting my family above all, especially William and little Zoë (who’s doing alright. She’s been moved from Intensive Care to High Dependency and back to Intensive Care: out of, and now back into an incubator. These set backs are not unexpected in such tiny babies, but the staff are confident that she’s basically doing well. Slowly she’s learning to breastfeed).
I love the neighbourhood shopping streets. They’re often, and depressingly, a bit grubby and litter-strewn. But they’re full of life. Turkish, Lebanese, Italian, Chinese and East Asian, English, Syrian, French, Ethiopian, Eastern European, Caribbean shops, take-aways and restaurants rub along together. There are barbers and hairdressers, some specialising in working with the tight curls of the local black population. They may not open early, but they’re busy until late. Markets sell fruit and veg. by the bowlful, and the fish stalls are an education in unfamiliar marine life. No pictures – sorry. When I take William to the park, I may find myself making common cause with grannies from Poland, France or Thailand.
I love the happenstance of walking the backstreets almost anywhere in central London. When I have to get to King’s Cross Station, I often get off the tube at some station beforehand and complete my journey on foot. That’s how I found myself in Smithfield Market, England’s largest wholesale meat market, trading in meat sales as it has been for over 800 years. Then nearby is the church of Saint Bartholomew the Great. It ought to be twinned with Fountains Abbey. One was founded in 1123, the other in 1132.
I’m energised by my visits to London. I love exploring, and discovering London’s secret corners. It’s an interesting combination. London gives me renewed energy as willingly as it tires me out.
This week’s Ragtag Challenge is Energy.