Sunday, December 07, 2008

London Calling

Today I have to visit a friend in hospital. The hospital is on the other side of London – the other side of the river, in fact. In London, you’re either a South London girl or a North London girl. Large swathes of the population do not cross the River Thames by choice, even though they may holiday in Spain, or Florida, and cheerfully visit long-lost relatives in Australia every three years. To get to the hospital, I catch a red London bus to Golders Green and then, at Golders Green I get out, and change to another bus. At London Bridge, I change again. By this means, using a plastic monthly ticket we Londoners call an Oyster, I can travel across the whole wide city. I barely notice that I’m in South London. That’s the journey of a writer – from known territory to the great unknown, and all in the space of forty minutes. My friend’s symptoms are not good. I cry a little, take solace in a capuccino and write a little of my novel. I look up, and the bus is outside the café.

Jennifer Pittam blogs about the writer's life every Tuesday on She recently won first prize in the ‘Coast to Coast’ Writing Competition with her short story, ‘I Remember Very Well.'

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