I've often thought of those people, mostly faceless, whom I have a tendency to admire for really odd reasons; people who can sing well without even trying, people who live or work in exciting places, people who produce really nice work, be this showcased through a blog or self-publishing, and more. Then I looked back and realised that, at some point in my life, I was living a dream, yet I did not realise it. I used to live in a flat right behind the London Eye, that tall, semi-circular building known as The White House (very imaginatively named, I must tell you). While my own windows faced the rather little thrilling Waterloo roundabout (or the IMAX cinema, if you're feeling a little more upbeat), the roof terrace overlooked the Thames and, with it, Big Ben, the London Eye itself and, a little more to the right, The National Theatre.
At that time, I was consumed by work. I am not saying this in the sense of 'rushing up the career ladder as quickly as I could'; no, I really do mean consumed in its worst sense. I mean consumed as burnt out by a working treadmill that saw me running and running, even at weekends, never stopping to notice anything. Only once did I go to the roof terrace and sat down, taking in the sounds and the beautiful view. Only once did I actually notice Big Ben chiming. I may have taken a couple of pictures of it, but I cannot be sure.
It's exactly ten years later, and I am, once again, in this marvellous spot of London, watching the full trees swing in the wind, the tourists stopping by to take pics, the river curling up in thousands of creases. A lot has happened since the summer of 2001, and a lot has not happened, despite the plans (they really are for little schemers) and the striving (don't, ever).
I've recently started reading the blog of an American artist, this one, who lives in Brooklyn. She often talks of what she does downtown and I always smile as she mentions places that I know so well and that are so dear to me. If truth be told, I swoon a little. Then today, back from the copy room, I caught a glipse of the Thames and, for a change, I stopped. It's a fabulous day in London, with a pale blue sky and clouds scattered across it. As I take it all in, after a period that has been traumatic to say the least, I realised that I am living the dream. For a change, it ain't just somebody else's dream, the dream of someone who may be reading this, swooning like I do over Summer Pierre's site, but my own dream too. This time, I want to stay in the dream, I want to record it all, I want to enjoy it all. This time I am the one actually living it.