Signing off from London

Sunday Blog 55 – 2nd October 2022

My first weeks in London, June 1990

I’ve had such wild dreams about this holiday. I’m hoping it will… slough the layer of apathy off the layer of calm, and allow me to look many fears in the face… But I suppose the closer I get to the destination, the more I mistrust romantic notions of a clean sweep I am, after all, still the same person, even the 14-year-old who last trod the moving walkways of Heathrow.”

14th June 1990 – diary entry written in Moscow Airport before I was due to land in London for an extended working holiday.

It’s always rather sobering to read old diary entries. The one written above was in Moscow airport, because in 1990 Aeroflot was a very cost-effective way to get from Australia to London. Obviously we stopped at Moscow airport en route and well I remember the grumpy staff at the airport who refused to serve non-Russians. I sat down to journal some of my confusion and fear while waiting to board the short flight to London.

My early London diaries are full of realisations of the Moscow entry concerns. Was I in the wrong job? (yes) Would I stick to my wellness goals? (nope, but eventually I would find yoga). They are also seeped in loneliness, occasionally interspersed with tales of unrequited love or disastrous romantic entanglements.

How wonderful it has been to come back to London and dabble in the nice things, and celebrate how the difficulties are long, long behind me. What a blessing to acknowledge all the good things London delivered for me. An investment. Career experience albeit completely unrelated to what I do now.

But how quickly London can envelope you in its enormity, and lure you into its embrace of anonymity and loneliness. The best bit of all about this trip to London has been connecting with old friends and visiting old haunts. Giving a nod to the 14 year old me, and the 25-35 year old me across the chasm of time, and letting them know all is well.

My sister and I in London – on the left in 1979, on the right in 2022
Me and Fi in London, on the left in 2006 on the right in 2022

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