Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford. —Samuel Johnson
27, Palace Court has a new resident! Isn't she lovely? Twenty-eight years ago this week, Tracy and I were standing on this very doorstep (how do we not have a picture?) beginning our stay at the BYU London Centre. Now my darling niece Mariah is following in our literal footsteps. I get teary-eyed just looking at her face: brimming with excitement, not even fully comprehending how glorious this experience is going to be. And oh will it ever be glorious.
I must say number 27 has never looked better. Those flowers and topiaries! Those steps and front door! And that lovely 27 etched in glass above the door. Swoon! Makes me more lonesome than ever for that lovely abode. I'm thinking Tray and I need to visit while she's there. Maybe we should create a GoFundMe account? Sounds like a worthy cause to me. I'm sure we can all agree the world would be a better place if Tracy and I made it back to London this year.
In the meantime, I'll re-experience it all vicariously through Mariah. Her Snapchat story is my new favorite read. As I sent her off, these words from Helene Hanff's 84, Charing Cross Road came to mind:
A newspaper man I know, who was stationed in London during the war, says tourists go to England with preconceived notions, so they always find exactly what they go looking for. I told him I'd go looking for the England of English literature, and he said: "Then it's there."
May you find the England you've gone looking for, Mariah, and best of all, may you find your Tracy.