The One Where I Write : I Heart London.


This past week an American friend of mine has been visiting London.
It was her first visit here....it was also the first time that we had actually met.

We've been part of an online group of friends (8 girls) for about 14 years or so. a group that has talked/shared/emailed a lot, ups & downs, big life stuff, happy & sad times....
and so, although it was our first meeting, I wasn't really nervous (well, maybe just a tiny bit!), since it felt like we already knew each other.

Those who blog may understand this to some extent, you read/comment/write/share all kinds of stuff & you do, on some occasions, develop friendships - even though you have never met.

I have some really really good online friends who I've never met....
to me, friendships can arise out of all kinds of situations & actually what bonds you, as with any friendship, is your common loves/fears/experiences/heartaches/worries....
I don't think it makes any difference whether it's online or face to face in your everyday life.

Anyway, my friend M & I had a lovely time, a really wonderful time....
it was so exciting to finally meet each other, whilst at the same time it seemed completely normal to be together, we found our rhythm straightaway, as in all the best friendships.

And she proved to be An Awesome Tourist....
she arrived with 2 friends & a full schedule for the week & did it all, including a day in Paris & a trip to the Peak District which involved hiring a car & driving on the "wrong" side of the road! 
These girls didn't waste a minute, I was seriously impressed!

Can I just say that I also loved that they didn't take a bazillion photos....
they took some of course, but mostly they really looked around, took in the sights, checked out the people & breathed in the atmosphere.
Now, that's the way to really get to know a city.

And, for a few days, I got to be a tourist too....
and, as I discovered, there's nothing like spending time walking & wandering around your own city to make you fall in love with it all over again.

I love London, it's been my city for nearly all of my life....
but there's probably lots of stuff here that I haven't got round to doing, things that I don't make time to do & things that I don't notice because I am on my way to somewhere/something else & haven't got time to stop.

Last Friday, we met at Tower Hill & took one of my favourite London walks....
across Tower Bridge, past City Hall via Borough Market (always at its best on a Friday), past Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, across the Millennium Bridge to St Paul's Cathedral.

It's not a particularly long walk but I love it because you get a real sense of London....
wonderful views across the city, the hustle & bustle of Borough Market with its amazing food stalls...
if you haven't been to the market, you must, the food is fabulous, as is the atmosphere, I absolutely love it. 

There's something about walking along by the River Thames that connects you to the city & its history, makes you feel a part of it....
it's a busy river with plenty of traffic & everyone loves to wander along it, you can cover a lot of ground, and see so much of London, walking its length....
from Chelsea right down to Bermondsey & beyond, from the West End to the East End.

And, on Friday, when we walked....
the sun shone & the skies were blue & gorgeous, London looked incredible....
and seeing it through the eyes of someone who had never seen it before, I saw it anew & fell in love with it all over again, just like that.

One of those life moments when you see something, or someone, that is as familiar to you as your own favourite shoes, but suddenly you see it/them as if for the first time & realise how wonderful it, or they, really is/are 
I love that....the sheer unexpectedness of it. 

Go & be a tourist in your own town...
look up not straight ahead, turn left instead of right, stop for coffee & just people watch....
I can highly recommend it. 

For my friend M & for London....
for being beautiful & for being a wonderful part of my life. 
I heart you both.


to see some of my other London posts, see here, herehere & here ....

11 comments:

  1. Wow, your friend M and her friends sound very energetic Simone! How lovely for the two of you to meet finally. That stretch of the river is a favourite for me, especially around lovely Borough Market!

    Sophia x

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  2. Oh Simone, how lovely and to meet up with someone that you are close to but have never met is wonderful.
    …..and, as you know, like you, London is my favourite City and I fall in love with it a little bit more every time I visit. There is always something new to see, be it just a teensy thing.
    …. and, I love the River Thames ….. one of my favourite parts is Traitors Gate ….. I think that you can actually see the history oozing out of it !!!!
    ….and, Borough Market …… fantastic. We always come back with bags full of food !!
    Hope that you are well and enjoying your new home. Much love. XXXX

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  3. Simone, it's wonderful reading this story. I think all of us serious bloggers realize how precious these friendships really can be. The "other" world, the people who don't blog, look at us as if we are crazy. But, we're not. And, your story proves it. Good job you guys! So happy you had fun and met face-to-face. xx's

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  4. What a wonderful post. I absolutely recognize the genuine nature of blog/online friendships, and how fun that you actually got to meet! I also love having the opportunity to show off my home city. I haven't done it in too long. I need someone to come visit Boston! I also need to get back to London someday. So much to see! I hope you're doing well! - Mary

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  5. Another brilliant post, and you're right, we should take time to be tourists in our own city.
    Glad M and her friends had a great time.
    Have a lovely week,
    Liz x

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  6. Dearest Simone!! Thank you so much for this lovely post! It was an absolutely wonderful week in your beautiful city, but the days we had together will forever be remembered. Our friendship (including our other girls) is certainly unique, and I have always loved how special we have been to each other over the years. To meet you in person has been something I have wanted to do for a very, very long time and I feel so lucky that it finally happened. Thank you for being such a perfect hostess… I adore you!! XOXO Much love, Mona PS - thanks for coming to my rescue :)

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  7. I get it!I have met a few BLOGGERS now.........a wonderful experience.
    MARSHA, is right a lot of people do not "GET IT!"They think what a waste of time.............etc.
    Thats okay by me as I get it and love visiting other woman in other parts of the world!Now come visit me in CALIFORNIA,USA!My garden is blooming and I couldn't be happier!

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  8. How lovely to finally meet ... must remember that walk for when I get over ... one day ;) xxx

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  9. Hands down my favourite, absolute favourite Friday walk in London, Saturday on Hampstead Heath!
    Oh...Simone this tale made me miss London terribly- nothing like a big gorgeous busy city under a blue sky and sunshine! I also wish we'd walked and coffee-d more than the one and only time we sat and shared and coffee-d....I'm starting to plot a return to our other home and will be walking and eating with you again when I do.
    SO glad your "M" loved your city too- as if she couldn't!!
    M xx

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  10. There's no other city quite like LONDON...makes you proud, doesn't it?
    Sounds like you had a fabulous time, Simone...I love what you say about breathing in the atmosphere...perfect description...happy weekend! xx

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  11. Sounds like it was a wonderful visit Simone ~ so glad that you got to meet and spend some time! I cannot wait for you to show me your London ~ I love it already xo

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