22 Aug 2012
An emotional journey through London
Last week, Minnie and I (plus my lovely husband as chauffeur) set off for east London for a bit of a glam afternoon drinking champagne on a luxury yacht. Well, I was drinking the champagne at least. To get there takes around an hour – it would be faster to drive to Oxford – and as we headed through London, I found myself looking at the capital with new eyes.
I haven’t been into the centre for a while, as I didn’t fancy making any unnecessary treks on the tube at the end of my pregnancy and haven’t attempted anything quite that bold with Minnie yet. So, as we negotiated the city’s roads, I felt like I was revisiting a whole new place rather than somewhere that’s been my home for over a decade.
Everything seemed as familiar as you’d expect from London’s clichés, from red double-deckers, tourists on Oxford Street, the intricate decoration on the Houses of Parliament, the Eye revolving by the Thames and finally the Tower of London. And shimmering in the sun against a glorious blue sky, the city was easily looking its best.
Perhaps it’s simply a few months away, perhaps it’s the thought of how Minnie will start to see her home in a little while (though she slept peacefully through this particular journey), but it felt almost like a personal shift – as if I was no longer the same person travelling along.
On the way, we passed by three different places I’ve worked during my career as well which threw everything into sharp focus. Again it’s a few years since I’ve commuted to anyone of them, but I seemed to be looking at someone else’s life from the outside.
An unexpected consequence of motherhood or slightly too much sun? Who knows, but if it’s the former, I suppose I get to see the whole world anew as a result.