The tube: Tapping the Oyster and walking down the stairs/elevator and then looking this way and that to figure out which is the Westbound and Eastbound. Getting into the train followed by the familiar 'Mind the Gap', watching people in their trenchcoats and their workday faces. Grim, largely, boisterous or chatty, rarely. Getting off nonchalantly and exiting to the street to find sunshine!
Ah, love you London!
Walking the streets: Rain, yes, take out umbrella...oh no, gone, fold it and shake it furiously at a corner like a typical Londoner. Soak in the sunshine. Walk, walk, walk. Oxford Street, Regent Street, Fleet Street, Nottinghill, Piccadilly Circus, Baker Street, Camden Lock, Borough Market, Greenwich, the Mall...just about everywhere.
Sainsbury, Pret-a-Manger, the cafes, the many restaurants: I loved the convenience of just walking into a Sainsbury, doing the self check-out (mostly the husband who became an expert) and walking into a Pret-a-Manger and picking up salads, fruits, shakes...The cafes, the restaurants, (I still think of the salad at the Camden branch of Mildreds), the English breakfast, the scones and teas.
The bookstores: Walking on Charing Cross Road, and randomly stepping into Foyles and marvelling at the books, the sheer range. It somehow made me feel very important browsing through all the books there and later enjoying a coffee at the cafe. Walking in the South Kensington area and stepping into an independent bookstore. Buying a book on Shakespeare's Globe. Checking out Waterstones! Heading to Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street and spending an entire afternoon there, with bits and snatches of conversations in the background. That typical British accent.
Makes me want to go back to London. NOW!
The parks: Kensington Garden, Hyde Park, St James' Park, Greenwich Park...It's amazing that this lovely city has so many green spaces to relax, have a little picnic, go cycling or rest your weary legs after all the walking.
Of course, London meant much more than this, but like I said, there are some things so close to my heart, am even scared to say it to myself. Did I say cricket and Lord's? No, that's for another day. Not ready yet.