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Distance & perspectives

April 4, 2015

After a 20 hour flight, arrival offers immense relief.

Flux is your only state, and it can be disorientating. Same goes for first sightings, and scoping out a new environment. Shock of the new – we do things differently around here – eases into familiarity.

Similar but different… imageMore different with train travel on London’s underground.

Perhaps we were tainted by jet-lag, or the work-day rush was still in progress, but sardine games and officious spruikers on the platforms seemed stressful by Perth standards. Considering volume of users, this could be an unfair comparison, yet I am cured of complaints about public transport in my home city.

Positive outcome: Since last Monday morning’s experience, we’ve been choosing to walk. imageWalking means you get to admire architecture, spring blossoms, and cloudscapes. Walking allows time to pause and consider. Detours also yield surprising discoveries.

Like this below-jetty view of the Thames when our Docklands tour derailed (Millar, 2011). image And a sculpture by Frank Stella secreted within a forecourt of the Royal Academy of the Arts which we spied while hunting Nordic Bakery for their cinnamon buns. image Strange contrasts between old and new, accommodations along with counterpoints; much of the startling historicity arises from knowledge of both yourself and more famous others’ co-existence bound by geographical proximity. image Take Holland Park yesterday, for instance, which we discovered by shelf-browsing our host’s collection and learning

…Holland House became a cente for Whig society and noted for its literary salons attended by writers such as Sheridan, Wordsworth, Scott, Dickens and Macaulay. Lord Byron met Lady Caroline Lamb for the first time at a party there in 1812 (Winn, 2011, p.231).

Wondered whether they enjoyed squirrels, paintings and peacocks among the gardens, too. image

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Selected references

Millar, S. (2011). London’s hidden walks: the London we know is just the surface! London: Metro Publications.

Winn, C. (2011). I never knew that about London. London: Enury Press.

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