The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Friday, 14 June 2013

London's Buildings Have Changed So Much

When I was just eight years of age, I lived in Poplar. My home was on the sixth floor of some flats called Hilary House in Teviot Street East London. From my living room window I could look out and see the inner city buildings in the distance. I remember the clear dome of St Paul's Cathedral and the Post Office Tower. It looked so London and old - even though the grand Post Office Tower was relatively new at this time. It would have been in 1969 to 1972. On a clear day I would look out towards the city, knowing my Mother and Father went to work there during the week.

In 1977, I was sixteen and left school. We had moved further east of London to Hornchurch in Essex. When I came to London to work as a clerk in Re-insurance at St Mary's Axe, I was amazed by the hustle and bustle of the city. Part of me liked it and another part of me was wary. There was a big NatWest tower being built at the time and I was amazed by some of the newly built areas, especially the Barbican complex.

I managed after many years to get away from working in London and hope never to go back there. Although I am from London, I don't have a great fondness for the place even though it is a hive of activity with many interesting people. I like to go there for a day out every couple of years or so.

I walk about and get amazed by the new buildings springing up in the inner city and the Isle of Dogs.  For a   few hours I sometimes begin to become seduced by the place. This is only on first encounter, thankfully. After a while it becomes oppressive again and I want to get away from the place. I spent twenty years working in the city, commuting from Leigh-on-Sea to Fenchurch Street. And for all those years I dreamt of breaking away from the pull of London. 

I can't fail to be impressed by the new strange office blocks springing up and now I can see the skyline from Leigh-on-Sea along the Thames Estuary. It seems the further I get, London finds ways of letting me know that it still there - as intrusive and oppressive as ever. I don't mean this unkindly, for there is a slight love/hate relationship with the city. It is an ominous marvel to me. Perhaps all big cities are like this. I'm rather proud of London, but do prefer to be so from a substantial distance.

I now toy with the idea of Cambridgeshire or Suffolk, perhaps deeper into Essex, but then again, I'm older and maybe it is good to venture into the city every now and then. I can drive or catch a train so easily and the new buildings seem to make the huge city metamorphosis into something less hostile. Or perhaps I'm growing old and changing my view slightly.

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