May was not to be

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Gladstone Park

A whole month without a post – it feels as if I’ve packed all the words and sentences in a hurry into various boxes, wrapped them in blankets and naphthalene balls (mothballs). Each time I attempt unpacking (the words, forget the THINGS), I find the wrong container and the resulting frustration makes giving up the easy option.

Well, I have moved all of 120 miles east from where I used to be – Bristol to London. Many of my relatives in India could never understand me not living anywhere else – some would always refer to me as living in London. Some even presumed Bristol was a suburb in the outskirts of this imperial metropolis with plenty of reminders to colonial India. To them, I’ve finally arrived.

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Not the one outside Calcutta, but in leafy Hampstead

So, I’m going through a period of transition – it’s a fairly big one when you consider I’d lived over twenty years in the green surroundings of Bristol. My initial observations of where I am now are still a mixture whose ingredients are hard to recognise. There’s hustle and bustle – the Melting Pot is on my doorstep. Anything from samosas, baklavas to Italian delicacies are a mere stone’s throw away. There’s cramped living conditions but wide open spaces to breathe freely close by. The general level of acceptance of newcomers is high – people automatically switch to speaking in Hindi when I go to the post office or beauty salon. And there’s a definite sense of community in the writing group at the local library and amongst the volunteer gardeners at the local park.

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Kosher Indian restaurant in Golders Green – now closed.

London has never been an unfamiliar place, there’s always been a reason to visit  – from the cool vibe of the Southbank to the excitement of Wimbledon each year. Just walking from Victoria, I’d have to pass Buckingham Palace as I headed towards Piccadilly. I’ve never wanted to be anything more than a regular tourist in this city until now. A month is over and sooner or later I might need to acclimatise properly. I’m happy to wait…

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Cheapside – the unfortunate address of the uncle of the Misses Bennett in Pride and Prejudice
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