I went back to Europe recently. T’was a flying visit to London (and briefly, to Paris), to catch up with friends and colleagues, to wish old friends well on their move to North America, and to revisit favourite haunts and soak up the buzz of a city I had called home for many years.
Though it had just been over 18 months ago since I left London, I hadn’t expected to feel like I’d not left at all. I hung out with friends, ate and drank at my favourite places and did what I used to do (without the ‘work’ bit, of course!). But this was overlaid with the eyes of a tourist, albeit a tourist with a very intimate knowledge of the city.
But I did take lunch and spend the afternoon at my favourite department store. Aah, Liberty with your Tudor facade, your cozy spaces with their exposed wooden beams and slightly rickety wooden stairs and floors. And your rooms full of gorgeous treasure after gorgeous treasure. Beautiful stationery, tastefully packaged chocolate, brightly-coloured silk scarves and lovely fabrics. And the usual array of gorgeous designer clothing, shoes and bags, of course. Just like the attic of a wealthy, well-travelled and elegantly flamboyant great-aunt.