Notting Hill

After a day in Swallowfield, I made my way into London to meet up with my friend, Will. I arrived into London early for our catch up, as is typical Tara protocol, and so I rode the tube into Notting Hill to take in the pastel homes I haven't seen in years and, of course, to look out for William Thacker walking home from a day at his travel bookshop. Duh. 

If you haven't seen the movie Notting Hill and, thus, have no idea who William Thacker is, stop right now and go watch Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in all their glory. 

Notting Hill is in west London and highly recommended by me as a place to go for a wander if you are ever in the area. You can pick up tacky souvenirs, fun vintage finds, or just meander around the many side streets lined with beautiful, narrow homes.  

Notting Hill has an energy about it. One of my favorite areas of London, I took my time wandering down Portobello Road, stopping for a coffee in a cafe and scoping out the antiques and oddities for sell. 

It hit me as I strolled next to the hundreds of other Saturday shoppers that it would be my last week surrounded by Western culture for {probably} a year. I became nostalgic about growing up in England, I became saddened that I didn't have enough time with the people I love in a city as intriguing as London, and I became worried that maybe I should just hop on the next plane to New Zealand and, perhaps, magically everything would all be easy.  

Truth be told, I didn't come back to England with the aim to tour around. I've seen it and done it. Not all of it, but, after spending years living in the area and returning often, it doesn't require a tour. I came back to see my best girl Tash in her new home, catch up with Will, and to {once again} meet up with Simon on a far corner of the world. 

I flew across the world to see my very best friend. Go ahead and roll your eyes and barf if you like, but when you love someone, you get on a damn plane any chance you get. Getting to re-see things from the country I grew up in was just a wonderful bonus added to visiting the friends I have living and working in the UK. I could not wait to meet up with him and see London through S's eyes. 

Then, as I was walking along and looking at the rare sunny skies of London, I realized that there is no reason to be nostalgic or sad or worried. Timing is everything, and it happens when it is supposed to-- being in the same place as your loved one and all the rest.  

For now, I was in London. For now, I was with and near those I hold dear to me. 

And, just like that, I was totally grateful, feeling in that moment overwhelming thankfulness...and also totally late to meet Will {not Thacker} in Covent Garden for his personal tour of London.