It’s now official. I live in London, in a flat by the Thames, my newly bought azalea plant a bright splash of colour on our patio. The past two weeks have been replete with new sights, sounds, smells, textures, challenges and cherished moments. So many times over the past 31 years, I’ve felt like I was waiting for life to begin – waiting for my stars to align, for the other shoe to drop – before I could engage fully with the day. The waiting is over. This is my life. Today is mine.
On these mild late-winter mornings, AR and I walk to his office along the Thames path lined with trees coyly hinting at spring. It’s the perfect way to start the day, the fresh air waking us up, the gentle lapping of the river against the banks setting the rhythm for the day. It’s roughly five miles round trip, a fair distance for a girl used to a car and a stationary desk job!, and it’s one of our favourite times of day. But it’s hard to compare that morning calm to the evening excitement when I hear AR’s key in the door and I bound down the hallway with the eagerness of a golden retriever to say hello and welcome home and how was the day and what should we do tonight.
Sorting out the every-day life stuff is a bit like putting together a puzzle that you only vaguely remember the picture on the front of the box that you’re supposed to be recreating. An extra level of difficulty is that the people you need to gather the puzzle pieces from don’t always want to participate in this forced joint endeavor. But I think I’ve got the essential bits done now – a phone, an Underground card, a bank account, a local pub.
London is vain, just begging to be photographed, and I am a willing, wide-eyed, iPhone-wielding conspirator. My goal was a photo a day, but that number is quickly escalating. Whether it’s the night streets of new neighbourhoods or the famous landmarks along the river or the culinary escapades of AR and I, my photo journal of this upcoming year will be full of special memories.
Highlights of the past two weeks: going out as a couple in Islington, finding ‘our’ café (Patisserie Valerie) and ‘our’ local pub (The Mayflower), walking AR to work, trying new recipes, birthday bowling at Bloomsbury Lanes, and Alain de Botton’s lecture at the National Portrait Gallery.