Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Memoirs From London

"What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs,
And stare as long as sheep and cows...

Feel the blades of lush, green grass tickle your toes as you lie back to stare blankly at a serene blue sky filled with pristine clouds in different shapes and sizes. Pigeons chirp near you, perhaps one hops on your leg and then moves on; there is no other sound but that of a cool breeze that caresses your hair softly. You close your eyes and forget that there is a world that exists of which you are a part. 

One of the most important memories I will take back from London and suggest to everyone who is lucky to visit London during summers is to take a nap in a park every day.

 There is simply nothing better you can do to enjoy the calmness of a busy city than lie down in a park on a sunny day and watch the world go by.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass...

You can take the bus, a tour guide or hop from one tube station to another but nothing compares to the beauty you will see when you walk in London. (beware though, Londoners love jaywalking)

Cobbled streets that lead into each other with tiny cafes serving a modest meal. Fruit sellers that have the most amazing variety of cherries and an assortment of berries, have a chat with them and they will have a story to tell. 

Flowers wild and fancy with sleepy shopkeepers, Artists, strumming a guitar or playing the piano, sit and listen a while and then walk ahead to meet a street performer who will entertain you and make you laugh a little, admire architecture that oozes history of centuries, and almost everything a masterpiece in itself. 

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

London  hits you with a distinct, high energy, cultural vibe that engulfs you and you don’t have a choice but to become a part of it! 

Grab a corner at Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square, a twenty four hour carnival and observe....people change as often as the ads on the screens, there are all sorts you will find here and I for one could spend a day just looking at people.  Watch a theatre production, as you enter an old theatre and you can almost feel the hundreds of people who have sat in the seats, the glamour, the music the charm. It’s an era you don’t mind being transported into! 

Stuff your faces with glorious food, Fish & chips with beer on a rainy afternoon, warm waffles in the morning or a modest breakfast of baked beans on toast. Indian Curry (The official dish!) or Arabic Cuisine the streets of London are a foodies paradise!

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare."

You don’t need a long holiday to bring back the zest you have been missing in and around you, to lose yourself in the midst of strangers in a unknown city and then to find your place in it, is perhaps the easiest way to finding yourself. 

Please Note: The Poem – Leisure By W.H. Davies is an inspiration to this post, he happens to be one of my favorite poets and this poem in particular is very close to my heart.


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