One of the things I love to do is travel to different places, meet different kinds of people and learn about different regions and cultures. I’ve always been a lover of history and always love when I have the opportunity to talk to someone who has stories that have helped shape the history of the world. I hope you like this glimpse of one of the places I’ve always dreamed of visiting, London, which happens to be the hometown of Julia Hughes, who was gracious enough to share her experiences living in “The most beautiful city in the world.”
Whenever folk ask me where I’m from, I always answer “The most beautiful city in the world.” Those who guess correctly first time go on my “Discerning People with First Class Taste” list!
Steeped in history, there are many layers to London: traces of the Luftwaffe’s Blitz are still visible, dig a little deeper and there is evidence of the last person before Hitler who attempted to raze London to the ground: wild Queen Boudica and her chariot riding army of Celts. In between these two very different eras, evidence of the Great Fire of London includes a monument on the site where it started. A Viking King once pulled down London Bridge, and a few scant centuries later, the grandson of a Norman tanner put the fear of God into the English by constructing The Tower of London, (c. 1066), which still looms over the Thames, and ol’ William the Conqueror also commissioned the “Doomsday Book.”
Scars heal, often the new skin emerges more beautiful than before, and enhance the magnificence of the London skyline: St Paul’s Cathedral designed by Sir Christopher Wren being merely one example.
The architectural splendours are complemented by the green spaces of London, and the Royal Parks were our childhood playgrounds. My favourite of all, Kensington Gardens, is also where Peter Pan played, and JM Barrie told his spell binding tales of Never-Never Land, and the boy who refused to grow up. Charles Dickens is another author who left his stamp on London, and there’s even a set of steps leading from the pavement to the river Thames named ‘Nancy’s Steps’ after a character in “Oliver Twist.” Shakespeare’s plays were first shown in London of course, and although the Globe Theatre has been rebuilt to closely resemble the original 16th Century playhouse, take my word for it, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre on a balmy summer’s evening is the place to watch “A Mid-summer’s Night Dream.”
I haven’t begun to tell you yet about the markets of London; ancient though some of them are, they’re all vibrant and bursting with local colour: though fashion may change in a blink of an eye, walk through Camden Market to find the latest alternative and vintage clothing – design a style all of your own and you’ll never be off trend; Portobello Road is still home to many antique dealers, while Petticoat Lane remains a popular Sunday market with over a thousand stalls spread over two streets.
Much as I want to explore the pubs, clubs, eateries and music venues with you guys – like every other lover I’ve banged on a little too long about my infatuation. If I don’t outstay my welcome this time, maybe Jason will invite me back – or maybe this is the start of a whole new adventure on Jason’s brilliant site – we can all enthuse about our little corner of the world, and why we love our home towns!
Julia Hughes is the London born author of “A Raucous Time”, “A Ripple in Time” and “An Explosive Time” featuring the Celtic Cousins; in addition to a stand alone romantic novel set in Cornwall: “The Bridle Path” Her latest title “The Griffin Cryer” has received over seventy readers’ reviews in the US and UK.
“A Ripple in Time” a romantic time travel adventure will be free to download from Sunday 14th April – 18th April from Amazon.com.