Now that we have experienced the first truly hot and sunny days of 2017, my thoughts turn to the wonder of living in such a vibrant and diverse city. Take a walk down any street in the centre of town, look up and you will surely see a story. As I try to put together a new set of heroes in new settings to populate a new tale, there is almost too much choice.
Often described as a melting pot, those of us whose families settled here many years ago retain our culture, but do well to take a spoonful from the meaty (or not) stew. On that note, growing up in Ealing, in the 1960s, I well remember my mother coming home to announce she had been to the house of West Indians or were they Indians? We had no idea then of the difference, because we had no understanding of others outside our own circle. Her next earth shattering announcement was that they taught her to make curry. None of us knew what that was, but we were fascinated to be served mashed potato with a fried egg sitting atop as usual, but look, see that slightly orange hue? That's curry powder. Go on, taste it.
These days, our city hums with people from just about every nation. The food available in the streets, cafes and restaurants, is a metaphor for the richness of the afore-mentioned 'stew'. The beauty of old and new London, the tradition of welcoming strangers, the resilience of its vibrant people, call me there again and again to tell new tales.