A F E W D A Y S I N L O N D O N
A few of the days – in my manic 30 days away – were spent in London, visiting Sarah, making the most of her London abode and helping her start her move back. As well as visiting Cutter & Squidge and Five Guys (capitalizing on cuisine generally unavailable in Cornwall) we spent our days visiting Hampstead Pergola & Hill Garden and Petersham Nurseries. It would seem, that even when in cities, my radar is set to “green spaces”. And I flock to city parks, National Trust properties and any kind of garden centre or space that resembles Kings Landing. Alongside my new National Trust membership and penchant for Radio 4 and Classic FM, it’s perhaps safe to say I am slowly turning into my parents.
Now it’s the end of September. Over a month since these pictures – with shaved legs, summer dresses and the slightest Tude-induced sweat sheen – were taken. The seasons have shifted and so has life. I find every September (even after several years out of education) I get that “back to school” feeling. To me September is fresh starts and new stationery. I want to set goals and make moodboards; reinvent myself in some probably unobservable way. I consider buying new smart shoes, with buckles or laces. And I feel nostalgic for the cold mornings, linked arm in arm with girls in the same uniform as me. For the satchels, stone pavements and school coats I won’t grow into.
Sometimes when I go back to Birmingham now, if we find a window of free time, my Mum and I will just go and walk our local streets. The streets that aren’t busy or bus routes. But the streets that are lined with parked cars and tall trees and cats that lie out in that front bay window. Arm in arm, we fall back into that familiar rhythm. Pass the shop that used to be a video-rental, the bakery we’d go into as children; walking through familiar routes, talking about all that’s changed. I for one am not the girl I was when I left here; not who I was at 18 or 15 or 13. Sometimes I like to think I’m getting closer to who I was at 4; that girl who was both thoughtful and audacious and lived in every inch of her life.
Septembers, like birthdays and new years and anniversaries of any kind, feel to me like take-stock moments. Months when critical and analytical over thinkers like myself, can reflect. Half existential-quarter-life crisis, half excited-squiggle-dance. If there’s one thing September is, it’s a blank page, lined horizontally and with a margin. Sharpened HB at the ready. September is to be written on.
And if there’s one goal I’m setting this September, it’s to write more. To write blog posts that share my thoughts even if they don’t (do they ever?) come out in perfectly formed articles. To share on Instagram what life is really like and explore what it means to create a community rather than a following. To publish micro-poetry to Twitter; expressing my day in the syllables of a haiku when 140 characters leave me reeling. To delve into my Microsoft Word drafts and write more of the novels I’ve saved there; not scolding myself with the idea I’m being delusional and self-indulgent in working on such projects. My goal is to write and share and make as frequent a habit of it as I can.
What about you? Do you feel that routine-pull of school years gone by? Or is it just me and my inner-Ravenclaw who wouldn’t half mind getting their old planner and workbooks back?