Silence online gives truth to a busy schedule. I stole out of Stockholm with little ceremony, slipping back into my London life naturally and with ease. This afternoon I saw a link to an article online called ‘the disease of being busy'. The title made me laugh, for all the while living in the ‘Capital of Scandinavia’ without my known networks of family, friends or the vastness of big-city life, I struggled with the stretches of open time I had on my hands. I popped home for a fortnight at the end of April, to do necessary errands and nice things too, like going to concerts and lectures and taking my sister vintage shopping. I found myself walking around the West End at a snail’s pace, corporeal differences demonstrating my absence. And now, even stronger than ever – stronger than working summers in London when I went to university in Bournemouth; stronger than stopping home for Sundays when I spent a year on the road – I feel back where I belong. London belongs to me, and I belong to London. Since leaving Stockholm and living back home, I have felt an ever-present joy that lingers despite tube delays, terrible pollution, even illness. This city is big, bad, sprawling, and sometimes sad. It overwhelms, engulfs, and draws you in. It is incessantly noisy, less than egalitarian, and nothing works properly; but it is peppered with colour and undeniably vibrant thanks to its wealth of cultures, languages, peoples, faiths. Multi-culturalism is something that I always miss when I leave this city, and something that I know now I’ll never be able to live without. It’s so good to leave home – but it’s even better to come back.
Till next time,
P.S. British readers, don’t forget to vote in the E.U. Referendum. No, actually – don’t forget to VOTE TO REMAIN.