summer of 2011 – a series
I can’t believe it was only 4 months ago that I arrived in London with 2 suitcases and a heart full of hope. So much has happened since that day in June and the pangs of home-sickness, which I felt at the beginning of the summer, are but a distant memory. With only six weeks to go before I return to Montreal (I know, I can’t even bring myself to think about it), I can finally say that London is starting to feel like home. I am capable of getting from A to Z (the Fulham-Islington route looks like the back of my hand), I can cross the street without checking both sides five times, I know where to find eggs at the grocery store (in the baking section, as it were, not in the refrigerator), I’m slowly taking to tea and I’m seriously starting to think that the British Boy’s accent is slipping. Indeed, here in the melee of British accents, his is diluted. I can’t hear his sexy accent anymore, people. I sometimes wonder if he hasn’t adopted my lovely Canadian-American-French hybrid accent but it turns out that I am the one mimicking the Brits. For the life of me, I don’t remember how I used to say “really”, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t ri-lay. I said it in a very matter of fact way — as a question, showing interest — but without sounding like something straight out of Coronation Street. Indeed, it used to be that I said potato and he said potahto, but now I’m all “Wait a second, have I always said potato this way?” Proof, surely, that I have adapted to these strange surroundings.
I’ve been to four weddings and a funeral since I arrived in London (true). I’ve seen several plays and attended discussions on topics ranging from millinery to the cosmos and the psyche. I’ve glimpsed the mole man’s house. I’ve been to photo exhibits and architectural walks and dinner parties and picnics in the park. I’ve met upwards of 200 people. I’ve had more cider than I can count in just as many pubs. I’ve traveled up to Scotland and down to Cornwall, saw shooting stars while camping on the river Wye and watched hot air balloons float above Bristol by dawn. I’ve had Sunday roast with the family (I even met the man who played Roger Moore’s stunt double in the Bond films at one such lunch). I saw Beirut live. I swam in the ponds of Hampstead Heath and the fairy pools of Skye. I celebrated Canada Day at Trafalgar Square with a can of Sleeman’s beer and shitty poutine. I watched the sun set on Miss Leonie’s rooftop and ate at a pop-up restaurant on the embankment. And last but not least, I had a spider bite that got infected and required a visit to the A&E where the doctor googled my condition (no shit). I’d say those (spider bite excluded) are the makings of a pretty amazing summer.
I was sifting through my photo archives the other day and thought I’d share some with you. All the in-between bits. The photos that didn’t make the cut. The few shots at the end of the roll, taken on my way to the nearest camera shop. Little snippets of my life in London… hundreds of photos reminding me that the summer of 2011 was one hell of a wicked summer. More to come soon.