Thursday, January 23, 2020

The strange magic of a magical metropolis

LET ME TELL YOU ABOUT MY HOME TOWN whose reputation encouraged me to up stakes as a young man and move right across the world to London which for some mysterious reason had always seemed to be, well, my home town.
Yet as I look at the details related by, I realise suddenly that while this magic city, this metropolis, had beckoned me from so far off, I had never even visited the place.
As far as I can recall, not once.
I arrived in the world in Salisbury but was brought up in my earliest years in Southampton.

The family migrated

Crippling conditions after the war inspired my parents to migrate, and off the family went to New Zealand.
How did this metropolis reach out to me? I still wonder, but it’s quite possible that the greater proportion of my almost nine million neighbours couldn’t say either.
They aren't short of praise, though. Here's one of our earlier residents, for instance.
'London ... Immense. The richest town in the world, the biggest port, the greatest manufacturing town, the Imperial city, the centre of civilisation, the heart of the world. It's a wonderful place ... a whirlpool, a maelstrom! It whirls you up and it whirls you down.’
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at


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