Falling in love with London.

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I am no natural lover of London, no devotee or steadfast supporter of a city so smothering, surrounded, sprawling, self-centred. In fact for a long while I disliked the place – could not stand the crowds and the heat, the latent inequality and the inescapable tourists pushing and shoving on the Southbank. And yet I know I am lucky to have grown up on the seam of one of Europe’s most effervescent capitals. Recently I have been quite unconsciously taking note of the small beauties of this city which make me smile: the old man, forehead creased and oiled like chip paper, singing lullabies to himself at the bus stop. The imprint of charcoal fire escape against paper white sky. The peeling doors and brightly coloured window boxes, single speeds locked to trees and the scent of dying summer in the air. And it surely doesn’t hurt that my journey from the tube to work looks as idyllic and old world as this.
 
To paraphrase a quotation originally written about New York: ‘To be in London on a beautiful day is to feel razor close to being in love.’  (Haldrin)  I think this might be the beginning of a long affair…