London a long time between pints

In the spirit of travel, let’s dive headfirst into the swirling vortex of memory, a kaleidoscope of experiences that have shaped my relationship with London.

A long time between pints

The first time I set foot in London, I was a young Australian backpacker, green as the grass in Hyde Park. I found myself working for a South London startup, a fledgling operation that would later spread its wings to become a multinational software company. I was living in a backpacker’s hotel, sharing a room with five other souls, each with their own stories, and their own dreams. Then, I moved to a squat in Queensway, a place that was as much a character in my London story as any person I met. These were heady times, filled with raw, unfiltered experiences that sear themselves into my memory. I watched the fall of the Berlin Wall with my roommates in the Palace Court Hotel, a moment in history that felt as monumental as this city itself.

Years later, I returned to London, this time as a professional. At King’s College London, I found myself administering a database of digital treasures produced by research projects. The role was a journey, taking me to abstract and physical places that I could never have imagined.

Independent book fair, Conway Hall

Fast forward to the present, and I find myself in London once again. It’s been a long time since my last visit, not since 2015, when I embarked on my South American motorcycle journey. A lot has happened since then, but London, like a steadfast old friend, remains largely unchanged. The city stands as a testament to the passage of time, a reminder to us fleeting Modern New World types that there was a world before us and there would be one when we were gone.

Lunch of Kings

This time, I’m staying in the East End, the beating heart of London’s cultural scene. My temporary home is above a laundromat, a place that smells a bit like history and a lot like detergent. But the doors open onto East End Paradise, a vibrant tapestry of sights, sounds, and smells. I’ve walked up Brick Lane more times than I can count, savoured the taste of salt beef bagels, and immersed myself in the city’s thriving arts scene. I’ve seen a new rendering of Jack the Ripper at the theatre, visited friends at book fairs and art openings, and spent countless hours in London’s magnificent pubs.

Accommodation in Shoreditch

London, with its rich history and vibrant culture, is a city that never fails to inspire. It’s comforting to know that no matter how much the world changes, London will always be there, a beacon of resilience and diversity in an increasingly homogenised world.



One response to “London a long time between pints”

  1. John Carroll Avatar
    John Carroll

    Yeh Craig, you and London like white on rice! great times, well written.

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