The Feel of London

London has a certain feel–under your fingers, under your toes, swinging alongside your arms, in your nose, your hair, your eyes.

The city streets are always busy and bustling (with cars and busses that take no heed of people on foot), so you’re likely to feel cars whizzing by, blowing your hair along with the little wind we’ve been having here lately.

(a hilariously real sign I pass daily on my walk to the train station)

Most of the time my feet are jammed in to boots, probably with two pairs of socks in between. On the recent, weather-permitting, occasions though, when I’ve ventured out in flats, I’ve noticed exactly how ripply and bumpy the London streets are. It’s said here in London they don’t tear things down and rebuild; instead, everything new is just constructed around and over and in-between the old. The feel of the streets reflects that, as they wind around, changing between concrete and cobblestone and gravel park walkways.

During the evening rush hour on a weekday, you might feel the slightly sticky plastic wall of an underground train pressed against the side of your head, theinvoluntary dance of its forward motion sway your hips, and of course the oddly dusty and warm underground air tickly your nose.

(add one hundred people and you’ll have a picture of a typical trip on the tube)

Honestly, after a day of all that, I normally feel pretty grimy. There’s a way the city air sticks in your hair that I find best remedied (other than with a nice hot shower, of course) by pyjamas and hot tea and fuzzy wool socks. If I’m not quite home yet, yoga has the same effect. The feel of the spongy mat beneath me, well-stretched muscles ready to relax, and clean air deep in my lungs, can breathenew life into a long city day.

(one of many very successful coffeeshop experiences)

Between bumpy brick streets, comfy coffeeshop seats, slick tile in the tube and city life in the air–London can envelop you with a huge mix of sensory adventures, new ones every day.


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