In London Love

Obviously an entry about love is appropriate on Valentine’s Day–despite being single and an ocean away from my most-loved ones.

I actually have no complaints about the holiday, besides its commercialization. It gives me an excuse to bake sweet, pink, chocolately things, which I did today with my lovely friend Arsheen.

Before the sweetness, though, there was the delicious veggie pizza:

Broccoli, egglant, mushrooms and corn

Broccoli, eggplant, corn and mushrooms

Followed by the much anticipated chocolate cake with strawberry buttercream that was originally intended to be cupcakes:

This photo does not convey how divine this cake tasted.

***

Hallmark holidays are always a nice time for reflection. So let’s talk about what I love about London.

My Landlady

She’s saucy, she’s a social butterfly, she’s inspiring. The other day she told me all about how she broke into the field of journalism as a woman in the late 1950s. While most women journalists at the time wrote for the women’s page, which she didn’t want to do, she got a job as a news reporter by pointing out a man in the office who’d graduated from UNC’s J-school the same year and reminding the managing editor that they’d received the exact same education. Still, she made half his salary. Only when she began writing for the city’s competing newspaper did her workplace concede and give her equal pay. Then, she quit after they wouldn’t run a story she wrote about the trials faced by black families in the pre-Civil-Rights-Act-of-1964 South. That’s when she moved to Europe.

That story is one of many she has shared with me since I’ve been here. Interestingly, she told me that she never considered herself an activist for women’s rights. “We just did what we had to do,” she said. Imagine having the conviction to face that kind of adversity simply because you know it’s right, and you know it will benefit future generations of women. Upon graduation, I hope I can face the world with such courage and passion.

Of all the advice I received about coming here, deciding to live with her was the absolute best advice I chose to follow.

My Neighbourhood

It’s beautiful.

See? This is my street.

My Friends

I have some now, seriously. British friends, non-British European friends, from-the-Eastern hemisphere friends, and admittedly, American friends. They are just lovely, because my good taste is not limited to the U.S. It’s more heartening than I expected to meet people who are just like my friends at home. Unique, yet satisfyingly similar. I don’t know why I found it even remotely surprising that people are essentially the same everywhere. Namely, their senses of humor all involve making fun of me. Example:

Kirti, Arsheen, "the tall one," and Rachel on our Stratford trip, 2010

"The tall one" and Michaela at Top of the Hill, 2008

Charming, no?

There are lots more, but these are my top three. I’m one lucky lady.

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3 responses to “In London Love

  1. im glad you found some good friends!!

  2. Wow! Your street is beautiful… I know where I want to live when I start making the big money.

  3. Pingback: Butternut Squash & Mushroom Turnovers | nestMeg

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