Fare Thee Well, London Town

As I write this blog post, I'm lying on a mattress that's sprawled out on our living room floor.

Looking around the flat, I'm taking in my surroundings. There are moving boxes stacked in the corner, the corner where the treadmill used to lie and where Oscar used to sleep on. Looking around a little further, I can see the square alcove in the wall - we never did figure out what it was originally used for, but we turned it into a storage space for blankets & occasionally to store the cat toys. The huge l-shaped lounge, with its annoying pillows that always, always get messed up. Our orange kitchen, the one that is so modern that it doesn't need doors on any of the cupboards. The drawers, which we had to move all of our food products out of, because the cat figured out how to stand on his hind legs and open them. The full length windows with beautiful light and their view down Ladbroke Grove, the millions of buses with squeaky brakes, the ambulance, fire and police sirens that blare down our street every night, the tourists that hoard the neighbourhood each weekend for the Portobello Markets, that really pretty church I've always wanted to visit... this is our home. This was our home.

And even before this, our old apartment in the East side of London - with views across the Thames to the o2 stadium and to Canary Wharf. Our old noisy neighbours and our mouldy bathroom with its crusty ventilation fan. The place where we brought Oscar home as a kitten, lost him under the refrigerator that one time, and called home first.

So many memories. I could go on and on.

Somehow, I've reached the end of my London journey. I can't even describe what an experience it has been for me, but I do know that it's one I'll never forget. I'm surprised to admit that it even makes me a little emotional thinking of leaving here for good - who knew I'd grow so attached to a city thousands of miles away from 'home'? But, as people predicted, I learned to call it 'home' here too. And I will miss this place.

Jase and I accomplished a lot during our time spent over here. We moved in together for the first time. We celebrated our sixth, seventh & eighth anniversaries. We survived an apartment move, clear from one side of the city to the other. We adopted Oscar-cat and started our own little family. We worked and lived on a joint budget. We got engaged and we started planning a wedding. We used our long weekends wisely, and added some new European cities to our 'countries visited' list. We've grown up, so much, together.

I'll always remember these things as happening during the time I lived in London.

Tomorrow I set off on my travels - a month discovering Europe with two of my best girlfriends, followed by an amazing pre-wedding-moon with my amazing & hard-working fiancĂ©. I still can't believe how fast time has gone, but here we are. Farewell London: thanks for the memories.

This blog will soon play host to some fabulous guest bloggers that I am lucky to call friends, so please show them some love while they're here. And if you're in need of some wedding-related rambles, I'll be posting at Weddingbee while I'm away - so make sure you add my feed to your readers.

Be safe & well, friends - I can't wait to speak with you again from the other side of the globe in a few weeks time.  I hope you'll stick around as we embark on a whole new set of adventures back in Sydney.

16 Comments • Labels: ,  


Jade said...

Aww, Aly - your post brought tears to my eyes! Your experiences here in London over the past few years are so fantastic and something for you and Jase to cherish for the rest of your life.

Good luck, safe travels x

Becky said...

What a beautifully bittersweet post! But ohhh what an adventure you're going to have getting back to and being in Sydney! See you on the flip side!

Emily Jane said...

It is so sad to hear of a London goodbye. It remains the city that stole my heart and I can imagine how sad you must be to leave. But onward to new and exciting times ahead!! Best of luck in the next few weeks, and can't wait to have you back in a few weeks time :)

Britt said...

I can't believe it's all come so quickly! Here's to a fantastic pre-honeymoon trip! :)
Travel safe, lovely!

Jess said...

I can't believe it's already time! Have a WONDERFUL trip!

Anonymous said...

Have a safe and fun trip!

Manderz said...

Enjoy your travels!

Mrs. Higrens said...

Have a wonderful time in your travels! I can't wait to see all the great pic's you are going to take with that new camera and read the accompanying stories.

Katelin said...

aw moving is always hard but a nice start as well. have a great trip! :)

Becs said...

Have a great time Aly! I can't wait for all the recaps when you get home. Love you!

Unknown said...

Why'd ya hafta make me cry?!

Karen said...

Awww, what a lovely post, Aly! Almost made me tear up for you for leaving London! Have a fabulous trip and I do hope our meeting up will happen. Just a couple weeks till you're in my town! xoxo

Liv said...

This post was beautiful, I felt the emotion behind all of your words.

I can imagine how tough it is to move - but it sounds like you have an amazing adventure in front of you.

Have a blast hun! Can't wait to read about your next journey!

(Ignore the comment above - I didn't mean to leave it with my google account <3 )

Allie said...

This is so beautiful! Wishing you happy travels!

Chantel said...

What an amazing time you've had in London! I'm so glad I found your blog.

You have a fantastic long journey home and I'll be right here waiting to hear all about it and welcome you back home!


terra said...

When I left Kosovo after a year-long deployment, I was a little sad. So much had happened - I'd fallen in love with Andrew for one - and it made me sad to think that a place that held so many memories was a place I'd never see again.

Can't wait to hear about your amazing adventures when you get back!

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