In the words of Elvis Costello….
“Just look at me,
I’m having the time of my life,
Or something quite like it,
When I’m walking out and about,
In London’s brilliant parade”.
On June 3, London became a victim once again. And it wasn’t a sense of shock that overcame me first, it was, more selfishly, how many more close calls will I see in my life. From being caught up in the political riots in Mombasa, to arriving on the “day of rage” in Bahrain, to arriving in Paris and passing the shootings thirty minutes before they took place… to now being on London Bridge three hours before the disasters unfolded.
A part of me even regrets the posts of happy smiles, cocktails and sunshine I uploaded from the London Riviera. But then the regret quickly changes to a sense of determination and, more so, of pride. Proud to be a Londoner. Proud to be living and working in this incredible city of ours. Proud that I sat outside on one of the best seats in London enjoying the capital’s endless clouds filled with magic and mystery.
When I moved here four years ago, I found it unfriendly, dirty, uncomfortable, expensive and I almost was looking for a get-out clause. And I nearly took it. I got itchy feet and applied for a visa to Sydney.
But now, everything has changed. I walk down a new road every day. I try a new place to eat or drink once a week. I explore dead ends, quirky little markets and quiet parks every day. London is a secret garden where everyone is given a life key. We are granted the membership to discover every hidden little secret.
And what happened on the weekend, that won’t stop me. It won’t stop any of us. Because for every terrible instance that takes place, that sadly takes away or affects the lives of our tourists, or of our people, makes us stronger together. We will be better than this. We are better than this.
I speak for everyone living in this city, I couldn’t be more proud to be a Londoner.