26 October 2014

Walking the Walks of Dreams

I had weaved so many dreams and spun so many fantasies before coming to London that I almost worried I had romanticised the city to a point where the real thing could never measure up. After today, I am surprised to say that our adventures have surpassed my most fanciful expectations. Living here is nothing short of extraordinary.

My flatmates and I planned to take out the Boris bikes and ride around this afternoon. We took the train to Waterloo, which was so nice. I absolutely love taking the train, especially coming from Barnes Station. It’s so great to sit by the window and observe the changing landscape, because you watch this primarily residential area slip out of view and you start to see the sprawling buildings of the city cutting the skyline as you get closer.

Waterloo Station

Whenever I leave a station, I always need to take a minute to adjust my perspective. It’s a bit disorienting at first. I don’t know if it’s because I feel so confined on the tube or if it has to do with how colossal the buildings are in the city, but whenever I step out of a station I feel so unspeakably small, like this infinitesimal speck being swept between giants of glass and steel.

Much to my excitement, we got to walk across Westminster bridge, something I’ve always wanted to do. It was so surreal because I used to have a poster in my room that captured the view walking across the bridge. Now, three years later I’ve actually done it. It’s so schmaltzy to say so, but I couldn’t even feel my feet on the ground, it was like I was floating or something. After three years of hard work, I’d practically transported myself into that moment in the poster, and I swear I felt as though the whole thing was one big miracle.

{walking the walks of dreams}

{westminster bridge}

{the clock tower}

We got the bikes and rode to Buckingham Palace. The sun was going in so everything was all lit up. It got dark so early today because we changed our clocks last night. I had been t Buckingham Palace the last time I was in London, about a year ago, and I couldn’t believe I was back. We sped in circles, weaving around pockets of tourists, ringing our bike bells at each other, and taking photos and videos on our phones. We rode up and down the long roads leading to the palace, the streetlamps glowing gold and the union jacks billowing in the wind.

Goodnight, Queenie

{october nights}

Once we had circled the palace several times, we decided to go over to Hyde Park and ride in the dark. It was a bit difficult to see because there weren’t many lights, but we had the flashing lights from our bikes to guide us. We went all over the park, around trees, through tunnels, along the waterfront. I’d love to go back sometime soon, maybe for a ride in the morning, so I can see what it looks like in the light. Also, I think the leaves will be changing over soon, and that will be beautiful to see.

{lonely swan}
{these trees reminded me of Sleepy Hollow}

After riding our bikes for nearly two hours, we deposited them and sat down on the fence, thinking about what we could do next. Then we realised, we could do anything, really. And after we said that out loud, we all just got so excited to be in London, to be with each other, to be out exploring. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.

We took the tube to Leicester Square Station and walked around Chinatown. It felt like it was so late at night, because it was so dark and everything was all lit up, but it was only like, six o’clock. We ended up eating at Nando’s, which was still an adventure for me because I’d never been.

Another crowded tube ride and a short bus ride later, and we were back at uni. After that, I spent a long time looking through my photos and videos from earlier on. I was happy with all the moments I’d captured and saved, but I couldn’t help wondering about the things I couldn’t photograph or film, moments missed in a flurry of excitement or blur of movement. I never want to forget anything about today.

Lots of Love,
Miss Monica Jean