Being Where You Are

Week two, London.

The thing about week two is that I get to finally live here rather than just be visiting. Meaning…life settles into a routine that allows for a natural rhythm to happen. We left a full life in LA and arrived to an even fuller one here. Friends, neighbors, the lane we live on – the space is ours.

It isn’t a second home the way people visit a part-time house they own. It is a second life, and I’m watching my boys do it this way round for the first time, in this way – LA to London – and see how our lateral thinking can work. They too do not look at choosing one existence over the other, and even their accents shift unconsciously back and forth. “Which do you prefer?” asks a mom to my little son. “New York,” he answers. Funnily enough, his absurd response reflects how we all don’t ever choose, even from a city they’ve never been!

Friends here who stay in London for the summer almost seem to have to excuse that decision. Maybe it’s because they’re used to chasing guaranteed sunshine or perhaps it’s just that people here travel much more than they do in LA. Seeing friends during these months is like catching people mid-sentence between “I’m off to…and back from…”. But London in the summer is also spectacular; aside from the incredibly cool music festivals (I don’t go but I know people that do therefore making me feel cool by association), there are outdoor concerts, pop-up restaurants and the usual exhibitions and theatre that can keep any resident or visitor happy.

Spent the night in the city. These streets I walk past hold such memories for me. Nearly 20 years of who I am, what I was thinking, what I am thinking… We started at the Ice Bar – literally a bar made of ice – where sister-in-law Boo, Livi and I nearly froze to death. We only made it through 15 minutes of our 40 minute allotted time period (Uggs instead of strapy sandals would have helped) and took off our ridiculous Eskimo jackets they gave us and traded them for an outside bar and tapas. Any sniff of sunshine and everyone is out on the streets, drinking and eating. I always find it amusing how many restaurants have outside seating – more than LA, seriously, and people will stay out there till they’re blue if it’s summer time. It was a stupid idea really to go ice in the summer.

Last weekend we all missed Husband very much. And on Sunday I really felt for him because most people I know are with their families. However close you are with friends, Sundays are that bit more private and I spent the day happily on my own in a sunny garden with the sound of my boys surrounding me, whereas Husband woke up to the dog. We did Skype, however, yes, with the dog as well, and after a few barks we were back in each other’s cyber arms, albeit hairy for him with dog in the middle.

It was our 14th wedding anniversary so we were extra keen to connect. He sent me gorgeous flowers – I think my middle boys had a hand in reminding him – and I sent him what he would really want for his weekend…fresh New York bagels with whipped cream cheese. Romantic? Well I say yes. What other guilty pleasures can I send? Don’t answer that.

About Jennifer

Jennifer is from Beverly Hills and has lived between London and LA since 1994. She's been a writer for over 20 years in the world of film, tv, travel and magazines and has been a class rep eight times and counting... She has just completed her first novel, Venerdi.
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