in the city that introduced me to Cristal and Ace of Spades.
My Friday afternoon begins in a trendy pub on a posh Pimlico corner, where I wait for an old friend and decent conversation. There are only a few people in this world who know the in’s & out’s about me, he is one of them. One cannot fool the like minded. Our catch up revolves around the importance of emotional stability and struggle. Certain factors have hindered our own progress but we’re both determined to get our lives back on track, far far away from unnecessary distractions.
“How does it feel to be back AK?” he asks.
“I’ll be honest, when I sat on the tube today I realised I’ve been asleep for the past six years. It feels like I never left and what has happened between now and then is all just a dream.” This is after all, the city that saved me from suicide.
The following day I meet a friend outside The National Gallery and he wishes me Happy Birthday. It is not my birthday but I have informed my world that I am treating every day of February as if it were my birthday. There’s a spring in my step even though I ironically don’t like celebrating my real birthday. We wander through the decadent rooms of The National Gallery with our audio guides and I stare at Monet until his work no longer makes sense to my eyes.
London’s social scene is predominantly stronger and more exclusive during the school night but I refuse to waste any time so I’ve organised to meet up with a girlfriend from Sydney and check out No.41 Mayfair. Three men at the door greet me in Croatian and I’m puzzled as to how they even knew I’d understand. They laugh amongst each other and tell me not to worry, they apparently know these things (insert Croatian box head here). A pretty blonde girl walks us down to the table. Inside, we’re surrounded by what I’ll admit is a sausage festival but I’m not complaining. Progressive house music fills up the dance floor and the consistency of these deep beats keeps it full all night. There is a type of man for every girl in here but not enough available women so the standard, “who are you, what do you do?” chit chat goes on like clock work. It’s a little too loose and easy and by 3am, I just want my bed.
If you’re curious, London’s an amazing place.
My following few days revolve around Secret Diary of a Tall Girl where our new found love for living is infectious and nobody can break our stride down these busy London streets. Breakfast and a quick shop at The Grocery keep us busy and out of trouble. One cannot visit London and not see a musical so we get our hands on tickets to Wicked and over cocktails sit in awe at the spectacle before us. Colo goes Yolo and we decide to detour our journey home and the Universe gives us rain walking up Regent Street. We dance all the way up to invisible beats in our heads and somewhere between our dreams and our reality we’re transfixed in the moment under the rain. Neither of us know where we’re going but know we’ll be all right as long as we keep dancing under the sky, rain hail or shine.
Here’s a little secret about Tash and I. Every so often, we’d ditch the pretentious Sydney club scene on a Saturday and find ourselves on the smoky dance floor of el barrio amongst over stimulated lolita’s. Booty shaking, twerking competitions seemed to be what these latina’s lived for. Tash and I let loose in the heat of the samba, rumba and potential sex so by 4am we already looked like a Sunday Morning.
I had a friend message me and hope that London would bring back my spark, post personal break up. It has. The most foolish thing you can do is stay somewhere you don’t belong, remain stale and discontent with who you no longer are. Some of life’s most difficult changes are the most necessary for the soul. I’ve never been so confused, so lost yet so alive. Opening yourself up to vulnerability opens you up to the truths you deflect at your strongest. I see things for what they are now and seek a balance somewhere between Boss Bitch and Fragile.
Between us, two glasses of red waited patiently.
“What about us Madam?”
It has been a while. This is the Cartier 1895.
“I’m loving myself before you could, just to show you how you should.”
Life isn’t so grand in Chanel after all.
London is one city that always brings me back to life, no matter how much it drives me crazy. What’s your experience with London like? Is it a love/hate relationship like mine?