Last month, wasn’t my turn to blog. Which was as well, really. In the wake of the then most recent terrorist attack on my home city, I didn’t have the words to express how I felt. Kate Hardy put many of the ideas that were running through my head into words, in her blog Love is the Answer.
So what now? Isn’t it a bit late to talk about all of this? So much has happened in the last few months, and since the London Bridge incident there’s been more tragedy, more anger and more grief. When I say that it’s not over yet, it’s not because I’m a pessimist, or I accept all that’s happened as just one of those things. It’s because disaster and strife, of one kind or another, have been constant themes of London’s 2,000 year history. There have always been challenges, of all kinds, and that’s no different for the almost 9 million Londoners today.
I hope you’ll forgive me a little bias, here. For me, London’s the most beautiful and greatest city in the world. I would say that, wouldn’t I? There are so many other wonderful places in this world of ours, but London’s the one I call home 🙂
But I also know that we have our share of problems, and in the right quarters I can be just as vocal about those as I am about the joys of living here. It’s because I haven’t forgotten about those who have been killed and injured, that I want a future for my city that holds something better. And it’s with that in mind that I ask those of you in our worldwide community, whose most recent picture of London might be what you’ve read in the paper, to take a look at London through my eyes.
Please see the open, blue sky above the Thames, the crowds on both sides of the river, enjoying the sunshine and the sights. The Tower, The London Eye, The Globe, St Paul’s Cathedral, The Palace of Westminster… the list goes on. You’re never short of a sight to see in London, and after living here all my life, I haven’t run out yet. Please see a city which welcomes people from all parts of the world, and benefits from what they bring us. One where people like to disagree, on practically every issue under the sun, but where freedom of expression is defended.
There are changes, of course. But please see past the newly erected barriers protecting the pavement, on London Bridge and in other parts of the city. Please see the hundreds of messages that ordinary people left at London Bridge – Love not Hate. Please see the multi-coloured banners, floating high over Regent Street – London is Open. These messages were in response to recent events, but the Carnaby Street lights last Christmas were on the same theme. Love and Hope.
Please see the flowers and green spaces, street performers, pavement artists and a city that just doesn’t know how to stay down. And when you see all that, please smile.
So that’s my postcard! What would you like to send from your home?