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Au revoir Jubilee Gardens

Some cities have a sweet spot where I tend to return. It’s like a magnet and I don’t know why. 12 years ago I walked alone along the Thames riverfront in London. This was one year before the London Eye wheel was built. I came to the Jubilee Gardens and sat down on a bench.

Nine years ago I returned, sat down alone on the same bench and read a book in the sunset.

Six years ago I passed the garden once again, but this time I had the company of a beautiful girl so there was no time to park on silly benches.

Recently I revisited Jubilee Gardens for a conference nearby. I walked past that particular bench and was reminded of how much had changed during all these years. Friends, relationships, attitudes, locations. But here I was again, back in town for a web thing – just like last time. Added a few wrinkles and a few pounds, but I was still me. That was a comfort in a way, yet still an annoyance. After all those things we go through during the years, some things change irrevocably but some tend to stay the same forever. But I noted that Jubilee seemed a lot more touristy these days, with street performers everywhere.

It reminded me of the Sandman episode where a man is made immortal and agree to meet with Morpheus in the same location every hundred years. Surroundings and fashion changed throughout the pages, but the man stayed the same.

Maybe it’s time for me to move on, past Jubilee Gardens and the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Jubilee Gardens Reading a book in Jubilee Gardens in 2002.
Jubilee Gardens Just me and the bench at sunset. Perfect.
Jubilee Gardens The bench at Jubilee Gardens, reverse angle.
Jubilee Gardens Jubilee Gardens in 2011, my bench surrounded by freaks.

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2 comments

  • avatar
    Tess
    27 Jun, 2011

    Interesting post! :-) I should find a spot somewhere in the world to go back to as well.. When going back to old places, its so obvious that time has passed, and you realize that you have achived some things since last time. Same feeling as when reading old diaries..

    I think you should go back to “your” bench in another 5 years or so.. one day you can even name it “Reine’s bench”. :-)

  • avatar
    28 Jun, 2011

    Thanks!

    Kurt Cobain has his own bench in Seattle so I might as well go claim my own. :)

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