The weather is as gloomy as it can get. Rain is in the offing. It has been for the last 2 days, and maybe it does rain at night – I wouldn’t know. It’s been 2 days since I saw the Sun, 2 whole days since the touch of sunshine on the barren trees and autumn-hinged bushes. The sun, here, is just an entity that must exist somewhere above for there is a day and a night and that’s pretty much it. One doesn’t have to see the sun to know it’s there!
I see the housetops from my room and it looks like it’s taken straight out of a fairy tale, perhaps it’s made of gingerbread! It’s 7 in the morning and the street lights are still on for it’s still too dark to be morning. I can’t see past my neighbour’s house, the fog is everywhere! The little courtyard with the defunct fountain has a thin layer of mist dancing on it. I can see a bird flopping down beside the fountain, on the green lawn and I wonder what bird it is. It looks like a mynah, with its yellow little beak and the urgent skips and hops, but I’m no ornithologist!
See, the thing is, I don’t know what bird it is. Just like I don’t know what tree it is that’s still green while the rest around it are brown. I don’t know what bush it is that’s pale golden and rusty brown, or what car it is that’s parked right by my window. I can’t say what time it is just by looking outside!
I don’t know ‘coz I’m not at home. This place, this isn’t home. But if home is where the heart is, then yes, this is home for now. For the next one month.
London. Of the Bridge, the Eye and the Big Ben. Of royalty and chivalry. Of suppers and teas, of cucumber sandwiches and fish ‘n chips. As old as an Empire that once ruled the world, as modern as the most used most stupendous system of rail transportation that I have ever known.
Thereby hangs another travelogue…
And, oh, I went by Buckingham Palace and the Queen says hello!