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A love letter to London

Updated: May 9

London, I have loved you.

But it's time to go.

I'd like to say it's a beautiful a uncoupling, but it feels more like you rejected me, and steeled yourself into the city outsiders believe you to be.

In truth, London is no place for a disabled person, and I'm left wondering where is.

COVID stole a lot from all of us. For me, I now add my home, my job, my body, my relationship, and 31 dead friends to the list.

I wasn't expecting to lose you too.

But in truth, London, you left me first.


And I have loved you.

My God, I have loved you. And defended you from the opinions of people who have never discovered your canals, played Connect Four on a night bus or decided to walk home from the West End.

The cycle rides across the city, the feeding of friends, the circus, the parties, the graffiti, the cultures, the sound systems, the varieties of trees, the photography, the pollution fever, the outfits of others, the memories, the getting lost and finding my way, the knowing of the tube map like my own vein network. London, I have loved you all.

I love that I could turn one street away from a well-trodden path and be completely lost. I love that I can walk into shops and see food I have no idea how to cook and hear languages on the buses I do not even know the names of.

I loved learning how different cultures communicate in volume, tone, and dance.

I learned how to be an activist, not a protester here. I learned how to listen more than I talk here. I learned how to be a photographer here.


There are flowers I planted in the garden with my dead mother here.

I held a silent, mutually tear-filled embrace with a fireman at the bottom of Grenfell Tower here.


And I don't know how you leave things like that.





I learnt how you need to plan before you see people you love. I learned it takes an hour to get everywhere. And I learned that if you need to sit down, you probably can't.

London, I have loved you.


I still do.



I feel this relationship has become a little toxic. You have latched on to the asthma in my lungs and I have latched on to the lockdown which, for some of us, never ended. Being able to order my life to my door, the more immobile I have become, is both a blessing and a curse.

London, I fear we are consuming each other.

If I am to be housebound, there is nowhere more convenient. And when I try to leave, there is nowhere more difficult.

Though I am ecstatic at everything it creates, your pace annihilates me.


And though it breaks my Hackneyed heart, it is time to go.

I want to tell you I will visit. But I know things will not be the same. In a body which no longer allows for impulse, much less for frivolity, this is no place for gentleness.  You can be anything in London.  Except well rested.

I want to tell you I'll be back. But I know you will have moved on.

As you should. As you always have.


I don't think you'll miss me, London. But the daydreaming part of me hopes that on some special moments, a stranger may catch a little shiver as they walk past a place that formed my life here, and they'll get a glimpse of something we created together. And think it's their imagination. But actually, it is life.  So much life.  I hope I've left my memories on your streets like stains, London. For other people to get messy with, step in, and pass through.


27 years, London. And you never once felt like home.

And I always felt like an honoured guest. 

London, I'm so proud of your boundaries.

The London bubble




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