Saturday, 7 April 2012

Happy Easter/Passover

overcast, temps 14

Threatening some showers today in London, but so far nothing. We had a lovely Good Friday. As I've said, I've realized I'm most relaxed and happy when I've written in the morning - about a thousand words - and that gives Michael and me lunch and the afternoon in London.

Yesterday I thought we might just have a quiet day in the flat. One of the great pleasures of having a whole month or more here is that we don't feel we need to rush around. We can find a nice, gentle rhythm to our days. We've also spent so much time here, it really does feel like another home.

I've also discovered something surprising about myself. I'd always harboured the belief that, given a chance, I was at my core an adventurous free spirit. But guess what? I'm not. Indeed, I'm the opposite. Most of my energies, such as they are, are bent toward pushing through anything adventurous and landing on the comfortable and familiar.

This isn't to say I never want to leave home. I actually like traveling....though I adore being home. But I will never, ever be the one who signs up to go camping in Butan. Or rafting down the Colorado. Or hiking....anywhere. Though, come to think of it, I do like walking. I could see myself on a nice walking tour through the countryside - as long as each day was bracketed by fabulous Inns, with great food and a spa.

that's as 'roughing it' as I want to get.

I like finding a local restaurant, and returning there. I love the familiarity, a sense of belonging. I like knowing the owner's name, and what the daily special on Tuesday will be. My idea of adventure is to order something different off the same menu.

I think that's why Michael and I rent flats or cottages or apartment wherever we are. So we can unpack, relax, and live like a local. Not because we're bohemian, but because we love the familiar. We're so lucky to have each other. No many people would find traveling with us very interesting. But it suits us.

Yesterday we left the flat in search of any newspapers that might be published on Good Friday. It turned out to be a beautiful day - sunny (we knew that) and mild (which we didn't realize). Perfect for walking through London. Now, in this part of London, you don't stroll. too hectic, too many people (and prams) on the sidewalk. You weave in and out and around. But it's fun and invigorating.

We went off to Harrods, just to look at the amazing food course. Room after room of delicacies. Michael got a Bento box of fresh sushi to bring back to the flat for lunch. I was sort of overwhelmed by the choice, and ended up not getting anything. But wow, I just love looking. Food from all over the world. And small 'bars' set up in the corners of the rooms, serving some speciality - like the Oyster Bar.

And, it being Easter, there were wonderful displays of traditional Easter food - chocolates, and these eggs you see in the photograph. Real eggs - not chocolate or hard boiled - but dyed. I thought if we had children or grandchildren, it would be magnificent. So cheerful. And so British.

Then we walked along the Brompton road to Marks and Spencer's and picked up some newspapers - then took back streets home, where we could stroll and marvel at the buildings. One of the great things about London is that there are very few skyscrapers. Or even tall buildings. Most are five or six stories at most. Apparently Queen Victoria complained when builders started putting up tall buildings - so rules came in....and are still imposed in many areas of london. With some notable exceptions. The tallest building in Europe is just being completed in London....known as The Shard, it stands close to another remarkable modern London building called The Gerkin.

But for the most part, London is bright and airy, with lots of parks and sunshine...and mad traffic!

We're having Easter Lunch tomorrow at the Captial Hotel, just down the street. A place we've been to before - of course.

time to hop in a shower then out into the city. Hope you're enjoying your long weekend of Easter and Passover.


Debbie said...

Wishing you and Michael a Blessed Easter.

Anonymous said...

i'm with you on the 'familiar' travel thing. kind of like a contemplative way of traveling - preferring depth over the relationships, the repetition; combining the rituals of your own life with the rituals of the culture as you learn them - they both are richer for it. i travel like you....and am learning not to be apologetic. my idea of a great trip is to find one great hotel, and use it as a locus for everything that follows. I have made some great lifelong friends this way - in nearby coffeeshops, and artgalleries. blessings to you as you learn about loving who you are, and the places in which you find yourself. & may I suggest - don't underestimate the edge and risks you take in your're doing lots of whitewater rafting in there!! (don't forget to wear a helmet) :) MelodyG
with a hug

lil Gluckstern said...

I did a lot of camping, and traveled around, but I never felt better than when I was making my "house" wherever we landed. I think you enjoy making a home wherever you are and are kind enough to share it with us. This also allows you to write -wherever you are. Lovely trip so far.

Robin Agnew said...

I've always thought of camping as "sleeping in the dirt" - why do it when hotels exist??

Donna Mallory said...

Actually this sounds like a lovely way to travel! Cheers!

Betty Reine Troumbly said...

I was only in London once, and I loved it--but, then again, I really loved Paris more.

Qli said...

So much fun to be following your time in England! Sounds great. Thanks for sharing.

Terry L said...

"...gentle rhythm to our days". What a great mindset, Louise, something we should all strive for. Personally, I've been able to accomplish this one day in a row.