Things I like about the Elephant

I like opening the blinds in the kitchen and looking out on the two Commons towers, the bell of the Imperial War Museum, even the edge of the London Eye out the window. It gives me a sense of being on the edge of central London and looking out on all this energy, all this motion. Hanging above the city, as it were.

Most of the time it’s pretty quiet here. Sometimes the flatmate is hardly ever home and when he is home he hides out in his room so it’s like having the flat to myself.

In the fall, I loved the contrast between the roar of the city, the sound of the police sirens and the steady rustle of leaves across the concrete gangways. Peaceful, ironically enough.

The estate, although intimidating – coming home I still look up at this tower and wonder what the hell I’m doing here – is bizarre enough to be interesting. It is a piece of history in it’s way – and soon it will be gone. There is this sad, almost melancholic air of finality about it, since soon most of the people will be gone as well.

I like leaving in the morning, descending into the back of the decrepit mall, down into the tunnels and the short hop into the city. Or the one stop ride from the platform, the bank of lights glowing in the dark morning, the train wheezing in and gathering me across the Thames to the very edge of the City.

I like being able to walk across the North Kent Road into the old brick estates where I lived with Marie, or up a short walk to the Imperial War Museum, Waterloo Station – the south bank. Two tube stops to Oval, and another part of my London life entirely . . .

I have history here after all.