I walked from my hotel past the National Gallery, through Leicester Square, to my favorite space in all of London – Covent Gardens where I once wrote endless poetry at the Pontis Cafe in their cozy wooden basement. My heart broke when I saw that it was now closed.
In fact my heart broke quite a bit as I attempted to find my way around. Things that had remained the same for hundreds of years, now torn down, now remodeled, now just… different. And can I tell you how disappointed I was to see the utter abundance of Starbucks, McDonald’s, and the like- ?
I froze myself to the very bone as I attempted to remember how to get to Neil’s Yard. After picking up an A to Zed guide, I felt that I finally had my bearings. Tucked into the Neil’s Yard Salad Bar which is largely vegetarian (I was once a vegetarian, even in my London days, so I had a running list of good options at the time). Enjoyed the most delightful pumpkin curry and butternut squash soup.
To avoid the rush hour crowds, I idled a bit at an antique book store, then began the walk back to the hotel. Boots Pharmacy also came to the rescue – advising me as to the uber walking pneumonia medicine I could take to relieve my symptoms. I gotta tell you – their pharmacists saved me countless times when I lived here.
As I walked home, sometime after 9p, the snow began to fall in thick blustery sheets. Do you know it never snowed once when I lived in London?! I couldn’t bear to let the moment go.
I walked around Scotland Yard and over to the Thames to watch the London Aquarium and Ferris Wheel in the snow. It was pure magic.
The cold felt absolutely splendid.
Feeling very grateful for this time.