Having just spent a week in London I am reminded of how much I love that city. It is alive. And as much as it can be over-crowded and busy, there are always pockets where you can find solitude – be it a garden you can walk through and enjoy or a simple quiet street. It would take a lifetime of living there to know all the neighbourhoods, so even though I lived there for the better part of a year when I was 19, there was lots to discover.

First off – Clapham, where my fabulous hostess Tina and her roommate Sarah live. I don’t think I’d ever been to the area before, but I found their place easily enough when I landed on a Monday morning. Sadly I didn’t actually take any photos of the area – I have to admit I did a sorry job of photo-documenting most of my time in London. Take my word for it, it’s a fun area, lots of life, restaurants the requisite Sainsbury, pub, restaurants, Clapham Common, Battersea Park, and a crap load of dry cleaners and shoe repair shops. On Sunday morning I went for a run through Battersea Park, over the Albert Bridge, through the streets of Chelsea and back again. It was beautiful. Note to self – next time I need to run with my iPhone and not my iPod so I can take photos along the way. It’s not often you run past a house with a sign by the door that states an Arctic Explorer lived there in the late 1800’s.

Here’s a sampling of some of the streets and neighbourhoods I did manage to capture.

Taken while walking over the Bridge from Waterloo to the city centre.

One of the many lovely streets you see as you walk down Piccadilly, or was it Regent? Either way…love it.

On the way to Portobello Market.

The Rings do look good on Tower Bridge.

Hard to do anything but love Notting Hill.

Like I said…love, love, love Notting Hill.

As Tina said, when you stumble into Shephards Market you feel like you’ve just discovered a little secret. We had dinner and a drink at the pub.

Really, little nooks like Shephards Market are quiet gems tucked in a big, busy city.

Now here’s a combo I hadn’t ever thought of. A Polish-Mexican bistro. Random.

And here’s a look at what you can find at the Polish-Mexican restaurant with a French name (L’Autre)…

Maman – la photo suivante est pour toi…

Crossing London Bridge. Seemed very sturdy to me mum, but I sang for you anyway.

And Olivia – these next few are for you…

And from inside the double-decker – up top.

And finally, my favourite photo from the streets of London.

More thoughts from London later.