London smells like cigarette smoke and rain.
The drops drizzle down in waves that come and go like clouds in the atmosphere. The cigarettes glow softly from cold fingertips and warm my face and throat as I enter and leave the toxic bubbles. It Is cold here- colder than I imagined it would be- and we are bundled in coats and scarves with shoes that crush the leaves as we stroll.
Across the street is the river. Down the road is the London eye. Last night Greg took me to dinner in the city and then made me walk 25 minutes back to the hotel in four inch boots just so he could feel the night sky on his face. Maybe it is impractical to wear heels to dinner in the city, but tonight, on a date with my busy husband, I decide I just don't care.
We pay 4 pounds 40 to ride the bus across the bridge every day. We sit next to tired souls on their way to work or home or nowhere, maybe. They don't speak to us and we don't ask. Through the window the parliament building and big ben and men in tweed suits carrying briefcases blur by. We hold Evie on our laps, blow kisses on her cheeks, sing songs to keep her occupied as time pulses on.
Everyone calls me "madam" and marvels over the tiny toe-head of a baby on my hip. I am pushing a "buggy". I am looking for a "lift". I am feeding the baby "crips" with my fish at lunch time.
The city is thick with with tourists walking sideways and londoners walking with eyed fixed steadfastly ahead. The ground clicks under my feet as we walk towards the park, towards the palace, towards somewhere to sit down and nurse the baby for a while.
I decide that I like it here. I decide I like the smoggy night sky and the still of the river as it sways. I decide I like the street lamps and the iron gates and the tiny taxis we hail when it rains. I like spending the days wandering and exploring and watching life through the lens of the camera around my neck. I decide I like the tiny grocery store on the corner and the map in my back pocket and the feel of the sky in my lungs as we step onto the street in the morning.
I decide this is the perfect place to get lost in for while.