London Calling

I used to live in London – but we moved out on purpose. However, I still visit regularly for work – and most of the time it feels like work. I kind of like it, but it feels a bit too big and busy for me and I’m always glad to be going home.

I’ve had a great trip this time though.

I travelled down yesterday and had a couple of meetings and phone calls to do, then it was time to go over to SwimCanaryWharf and see Ray and let him work on my swimming technique.

I was genuinely excited about this – part of it was a childlike desire to please teacher as I know I’ve worked hard on the drills; part of it was to get new drills and improve further – I can already feel an improvement with just one minor tweak, imagine what I could be swimming like; and part of it was just the chance to do some more swimming.

The summary is that there is definitely some improvement – Ray said that my stroke was much smoother and more even (previously as I used to lean on my right arm to help with my breathing, my stroke was quite ‘limpy’), it even sounded better and more rhythmic. However, there is still a LOT of work to do.

So we got to work in the endless pool again and it was lots more drills – crazy one-armed swimming that it takes my body a long time to work out how to do. And it’s amazing just how tiring that can be. But I left feeling energised about my swimming again and confident that I’m getting better and will be even more betterer (yes that’s the correct grammatical construction!) after more lessons and more drills.

After that I went over to my AirBnB flat for the evening – and I walked through Canary Wharf with it looking like this:

CanaryWharfI’ve never done AirBnB, so I was a little nervous, especially as the guy whose flat it was would be there too. What would we do if we didn’t get on?

In the end though it was great, we chatted, we drank wine, we watched football. So a very positive AirBnB experience.

This morning I got to walk back through Canary Wharf just as everybody was arriving for work. I’ve always liked Canary Wharf. I worked there for about six months about ten years ago and really liked it then – although that was partly because it was only a 30 minute commute at the time. However, as I was walking through it again today I was trying to work out what it was that appealed to me. While I am more of a country than city boy Canary Wharf to me is ‘real’ city – and by that, for me, that means very north American. It’s high rise, possibly a bit too self-important, but also clean and modern – all of them are traits from most of the north American cities I’ve visited and as a Canadaphile it’s a setting I’m very comfortable in.

The final thing I did this morning, before starting work, was to visit the Tower of London and all the poppies. If you haven’t done it yet I have one piece of advice: DO IT!

It’s amazing and HUGE congratulations to the entire team behind it.

If you don’t know, then they have ‘planted’ a handmade ceramic poppy for every military life lost in World War One – a total 888,246. And to see them spread out in the moat of the Tower of London is very powerful and poignant. I took a few minutes to sit and absorb it all and mainly to be aware of just how lucky I am that those people were willing to sacrifice themselves and how lucky I am that I don’t have to do the same.

If you can, please do go and see it.




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Filed under Swimming, Thoughts, Work

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