Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 47: Hats
I first came to London at age 15 and will always carry these first impressions with me. Seeing a musical for the first time, chasing the squirrels, admiring the lights. Looking at the living statues of Covent Garden, standing in the reading room at the British Museum. And laughing, laughing so hard that weekend, especially at night at my dad’s Basil Fawlty impressions on the carpet-muffled stairs of our B&B. I fell for this city there and then, the start of a very long love story.
So part of me will always see London as if it was still in black & white, still full of men in bowler hats. It’s not quite the case anymore I’m afraid but if you know how to look, its treasures are still there. It’s still quirky and secretive, super modern and very old-fashioned at the same time. So I still love it, 17 years down the line and you will too, I’m sure, once I’ve shown you around.
And so what if the hats have gone, let’s bring them back! I have got a few, I can lend one of them to you.