For those relocating to London, I’m continuing to share my personal journal on first moving to London in 2008 (see the two previous posts here and here). These entries were actually written after my first month living here, but retroactively cover what those initial few weeks were like…and the more I delve back into this journal, the more I see I was all over the place in the memories :). Not the most chronological of records, but I’ll try to patch my chicken scratchings together by general topic. Today’s, then, speaks to a lot of the London sightseeing I did as I allowed myself to be a London tourist before it registered I was now a London resident!
I suppose in resuming my recap of the past weeks, I’ll continue to extract from my mock entry last time. “Wandered around…Got lost.”…my day of wandering brought me to an intriguing cemetery off Old Brompton Road. It is huge, and become a sort of inspiration for me; it is so serene, yet full of life in the walkers and joggers that pass through and the squirrels and crows that reside there. Other walks have taken me to Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, where I once sat to watch a little kids’ football practice, by all the shops along the main streets of each local area, like Kensington High Street, by a warm and inviting bookstore glowing orange on a black, rainy night when I legitimately was lost and soaked (which I later figured out was Daunt Books on Fulham Road). Just having stopped in for a break from the cold and wet, I left without purchase and continued to meander my way back to Earl’s Court. A couple days I went to the city to walk the South Bank that I love and view the Tower, successfully then losing myself in the business district and looking to St. Paul’s as my guide.
I cut out the part where I was obsessed with a book I wished I had bought at Daunt, but couldn’t remember the title or where the bookstore was—so funny to think how disoriented I used to be on streets I know so well now! Mixed in with my wanderings those first days was of course also the practical, first and foremost looking to rent my own place. As a trailing spouse who moved here for my husband’s job, it was only a matter of time before I had to look for one of my own. All in due time, however. If you’ll be in a similar situation after your big move, if you’re able to take some time to just acclimate and “be” for a while, don’t feel guilty doing it. It’ll make make you and your partner happier in the long run the more familiar you are with your new environment, feeling a part of it and taking the time to make your London apartment into a home, which my journal will speak to next week.