As much as I love London with its unending cycles of activities, the chug of the transport systems that run through the night and the neon lights that keep London sparkling 24/7, I love that this city also has pockets where the madness of the city is exempt and green hills roll on by crowned by the skyline of London like a jagged tiara perched on her head.
This time, I unwound from a crazy week of escorting my sister (read: being dragged around by)at Hampstead Heath. This famous green space in North London is immortalised in some of my favourite books such as The Collector by John Fowles and in my head, it’s where the cool, sophisticated people of London who all look like Hugh Grant in the 90s hang out when they’re hungover to eat hummous and crudites.
On a sunny Sunday, we walked past the lakes where people in proper swimming costumes and caps swam cooling down from the August sun and made our way to the precipice of the famous Parliament Hill.
We picked fresh, tart blackberries, basked in butter coloured sun in between swaying golden grass and admired the mixture of town houses, glass monsters, church spires and rounded domes of cathedrals from the top of the hill.
Listening to retro tunes from tinny speakers, little dogs causing havoc on the green, couples in love cradling each other watching a snake shaped kite slither across the powder blue sky, a man with a staff reciting medieval poetry to a perplexed audience and friends raucously laughing about what happened the night before, we idled away the Sunday moments among the other Londoners enjoying the day of rest.
And then, just casually, Keith Richards, the absolute music legend, wandered past us.
And that’s why I love London.