And like many great things, my Londonian adventure began on the steps of the Albert Memorial, overlooking the Royal Albert Hall. Though that isn’t entirely true. It began when the plane landed in Heathrow, and I made my way onto the Underground. The modern, smooth-riding trains don’t have quite the same charm as the rickety-rackety old cars of the Soviet-era Budapest underground, but they are certainly packed out. I had forgot, or perhaps my mind just censored how busy the London tube gets, but only a few stops in I could no longer move, nor place my feet fully on the ground. Long feet here mean broken toes, something I was keen to avoid if possible. I flew with British Airways for this trip, because I have standards. These aren’t standards that often rear their head regarding air travel, but they resurface with great vigour when someone else is paying. The trip is part sightseeing, but mainly to attend a pathology summer school and see if it genuinely interests me. It is amazing how aging changes things – 11 or so years ago I made the same journey as part of a primary school trip, and it was kind of a big deal for me. My first ever flight. Now it feels like nothing – I take longer bus journeys fairly regularly – but back then it felt like a transatlantic experience. Flying with British Airways as I was today, we were served food and drinks, and it was the closest to first class service I’ve ever had. Or so it felt. This morning’s flight included breakfast, which wasn’t bad and I wholeheartedly welcomed on a domestic flight, but it didn’t quite live up to my memories of that first journey all those years ago.
Why have I even stopped to write this? Well, my plan was to get off at South Kensington and visit a few of the museums first thing, but everything is closed till 10! It seemed like a good idea to stop, and take a few moments to reflect on my relationship with London, a fantastic city in my opinion. My visits have been sporadic, though I did manage a day trip with Sarah last June, and before that was Claire’s graduation and the Starbucks laptop acquisition. I really should write about that – I’m still typing on that laptop I bought from a guy in Starbucks. Step back another year and I was in Imperial College interviewing to study medicine. And before that, it could well have been that first trip in Primary school. I really should get here more often, considering how close it is. It’s shaping up to be a nice day here, so I’m going to get out and make the most of it. For now, farewell, dear readers.