Why I love London


A few weeks ago, I went to a humanist naming ceremony to celebrate the birth of a child of a friend of mine. One parent is German Jewish and the other is non-denominational Sierra Leonian/Nigerian.

At the quite small celebration, which took place in an Welsh Cultural Centre, there were guests representing five continents. We listened to music and ate food that represented the cultures the child was born into – with a Welsh Male Voice Choir practising in one of the other halls.

The ceremony was a beautiful acknowledgement of all the cultural elements that make up this child and its place in the world.

I know this probably  happens in many different places over the world but for some reason, it seemed to me like a particularly London kind of event.

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She is oft-maligned, this city, especially as the violence grows but there is as much goodness to outweigh the badness. She is a haughty maiden aunt – a little stuck in her ways, but prone to shock – wearing her shabby shoes underneath a finely tailored dress.

I have lived other places – urban and rural, in the UK and overseas. I have never found anywhere with as much heart and disinterested acceptance as there is in London.

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People like to deride her, she is an easy target. Of course life is better, cheaper, safer in the ‘country’. But she’s seen a lot, this city. I doubt Edwardian, Victorian or even medieval London was safer. And she’s been good to me.

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5 thoughts on “Why I love London

  1. That’s a lovely story – it seems the media never focuses on the positive sides of living in a great melting pot of culural diversity as we do – when I came here it took me a while to get my head round how few people from other cultures there were here, I miss it.

  2. I could make some silly comment about softy southerners etc etc but really when I go to London (which is rarely) I feel like the country mouse, it isn’t the blend of cultures, I have that where I live too, it is the vibrancy of the place – something my home city lacks in bucketfuls.

  3. I love london, its where I lived until I was twelve. There is something so special about it, not because its the capital but because of the mix of cultures and lifestyles. Oh and the science museaum, I dont think I will ever grow out of that place. Hannah X

  4. I was there once in 1990 for a week and fell in love. I’m envious that you get to experience Her every day!

  5. Thanks for the comments. It is just a feeling I get sometimes and it isn’t just the diversity, Silva, you’re right. I love other places too and for different reasons – and 18 years, Reas, come back.. a lot has changed and the pound is falling fast (yes, even against the dollar!).

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