Month: November 2012

London by Night

Could not resist a bit of Frank Sinatra, not only because I agree that London is best enjoyed ‘by night’ but that it made for a great, albeit corny, soundtrack to drive into London by:

Same place, different time: Appreciating today’s London through Chaucer

Literary works ,art, poetry and other creative forms of discourse always offer interesting insight into the history of great cities: what shaped them in the past and what has sustained them to the present. I just noted that the area that I set up camp a few days of the week in London, close to Southwark Cathedral, held significance as a space where spiritual seekers would embark upon pilgrimage to recover their sanity, and re-center themselves spiritually. It was a starting point for people seeking absolution, peace of spirit and mind, and wellbeing. While I am not qualified at all to comment on whether this remains true, my first impressions are that perhaps the purpose of the space around Southwark has somewhat changed since then. If anything, it does not seem to primarily draw crowds seeking to find themselves, or ay particularly lofty aspirations. The meaning of the space no longer carries the spiritual promise that one catches a glimpse of when you read the excerpt of Chaucer that I came across. This is neither …

A year between the Seine and the Thames

So, the past few months have been a bureaucratic roller coaster ride: waiting in long queues to submit forms, returning to submit missing papers from dossiers, holding the line for the next available operator, clicking next on online application websites, paying fees for everything imaginable under the sun. I am not completely out of the bureaucratic hamster wheel yet, the emotionally abusive process of waiting for decisions to be made on one or two outstanding applications is still very much underway. C’est la vie. This is the price, in red tape, one has to pay to live in Paris and London for a year: the other costs are not to be thought about! Anyhow, apart from the costs, the benefit side seems to outweigh the many forms of expenditure involved in living in two – demanding, I may add – cities. Paris, on the one hand, is a woman of exacting standards. Completely loveable. But, one has to commit to her, to fully enjoy the rich heritage that she is willing to unveil to the …