My typical image of London is a grey city: dusty, rainy, smelly underground commutes, homeless people, and not enough green. However in the right mood and the right time and the right place I also find it an exciting and vibrant city – sometimes I am in the mood for people I suppose.
A particular favourite place for me is Covent Garden, the theatre district. I found myself there friday night with my mother, outside for no particular reason but to get some fresh air and do some people watching. There was a wonderfully festive atmosphere to the place: this may have something to do with St Georges Day but more likely it was the summer-warm weather. With friends chatting away over glasses of wine, lovers sharing icecream, people sitting on the pavement with cans of beer listening to live music…. it felt more like I was on holiday in some southern european country than the rainy-gloom city. I’ll say this now, one thing i particulalrly love is those African dudes on their drums, the basic jungle rhythmn mixed with throngs of people and life moving round the streets.
We stood for a while where the guy in the white shirt is standing on the left and I watched the dynamics unfolding below me. Couples, friends, two guys wrapped in england flags singing on the table.. watching from above you get this strange perspective that feels oddly secretive and voyueristic. I am always struck by how much life is squashed into such small pockets – that little bar area was crammed to the brim. People watching :).
Random dream for the future: go out to theatre with a group of friends, have an evening of being ‘cultured’ and drinking wine round velvet covered candle lit on street cafe tables, and talking about art. I definitely want to go there with Mark-in-japan and Hikari when they return to the UK in a few years time.
The reason I was in London at all was to help my mother do a presentation on “Orthodontics – osteopathic consdierations” at The Osteopathic Centre of children. All part of Cat’s ongoing adventures 🙂 I stayed Friday night with my mother in The Royal College of Surgeons, right in the centre of london. This is where she did her Masters I discovered! The nice thing was that it faced onto a reasonable square of green garden. Early Saturday morning, which was bright and crisp, I watched people out running round it, someone taking photos of the cherry blossoms, and a young couple practicing kickboxing. As you might have guessed, I’ve been feeling rather positive about people lately.
The Osteopathic Center is a lovely place, small but full of light, balloons and colour. While obviously still in it’s early stages, there is a sense of excitement and progress here. Along with this relaxing calm feel I’ve always felt in all the osteopathic places I’ve been too, so different from the bustling sterility of local health centres. My mother was presenting to a small group of osteopaths and cranial osteopaths that are training to learn about treating children. It was part of a day of lectures and workshops, I sat in on a few and found them deeply fascinating.
A note on osteopaths: You know those people, who look so vibrant and healthy that you’re not -really- sure how old they actually are? Well, from what I’ve seen so far, osteopaths are like that. All of them. They also tend to be good natured, relaxed about dress codes and generally able to have a laugh. I look in on their world, picking up pieces here and there, feeling outside all of it. I can not be there till a good 5 years worth of training and a lot of practical exprience.
But you know what – that’s ok. Because, while I am still unattached to any particular discipline, I am enjoying the freedom to travel widely and flippantly, almost as though I’m sketching up a large map of the area. This is important because there is so much information in any one area once you’re comitted to it you just don’t have time to read much outside that area.
Of course there is a balance. You can’t earn money from reading books; and certainly I long for the practical skill and understanding (not to mention a money earning potential!!!) of being an osteopath. Listening to them saturday, my mouth was almost on the floor as it dawned on me what they were really saying. The stuff these people can *feel*!! They comment on the feeling of bone marrow, or voltages across the heart, or the intimate connection they build with severely premature babies. These people are engaging with LIFE and doing it with so much more than just an academic mind.
You may not see this, but i have long term plan forming in here. The Real Life experiences I’m working on now (hello Josie and Japan), which include a few more “adventure” trips lined up in the near future, are not a distraction or procrastination from my main aims – rather I feel they are giving me some real foundations. Plus: they are fun.
I really want to share what I’ve been learning about nutrition. Never have I been so excited: simply the sheer potential to engineer your body, life and mind. It’s not all doom and gloom 🙂 Watch this space