London Things I Will Miss

1. The ugly beauty of the canal, when the Westway curves overhead like the underbelly of a titanic python

2. The birch tree outside my window, bringer of birds in all seasons, already showered with so many of my words

3. The row of huge old leylandii overlooking Westbourne Park Underground Station, stuffed full of invisible starlings burbling out their champagne songs

4. The gentle neighbourhood Great Dane, who goes by the name Biscuit, bellowing his barks on Maida Hill Plaza

5. The coming and going of canal boats, each unique, forever shuffling themselves between moorings like a deck of cards – names like Harlequin, Dobby, Dogs by Locks, The Hobbit, Fuck Boris

6. An unexpected glory of yellow pink and brooding cloud when I wake before sunrise to swim

7. The buddleia purpling into life along the track between Westbourne Park and Royal Oak

8. The magpies hopping between the roof aerials on the other side of the street, flicking their tails at each other

9. The green glow of 18 Sudbury on the bus hurtling out of the rain

10. Murals painted along the canal – heron, frog, trout

11. The gift of woodland also known as Kensal Rise Cemetery

12. There are approximately only eighty steps between Paddington Library and the Porchester Centre swimming pool

13. The Trellick Tower mirrored in the still canal

14. The chubby tabby cat sitting on the bench outside the Maida Hill coffee shop, waiting for opening time

15. The coots building a nest in the tyre hanging from the end of a canal boat (a sign appeared once: “Unable to leave mooring, coots nesting”)

16. The slow-motion fireworks of leaves emerging on the birch tree outside my window


One thought on “London Things I Will Miss

  1. This made me miss London, even though I don’t know most of these places! It is a special place though that gets into your soul, even as most of us seek to leave it at some point or another.


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