For the Wildcard Weekend, Brigid Coady talks about her longest love affair. One that has lasted years and doesn't look like it is ending soon.
I have a long relationship with London… I have lived here for about twenty years. I first came to live here as a student, wide-eyed and idealistic. It wasn’t very kind to me, it was too big and sophisticated and expensive. It scared me, I wasn’t ready for that sort of commitment. I left it for a few years before coming back as a graduate. That is when our relationship really started. Oh I might have left it for a year or two when work took me away but it was never far from my heart. I came back, hugged it close to my heart and I haven’t left.
I will admit that at times it can be a strained relationship. Sometimes it isn’t the cleanest, most fragrant of cities. It has been known to be rude and sullen and grinds to a halt. But on sunny clear days, with a bright blue sky behind it, I fall in love all over again.
I love that even after twenty years there are parts of it I have never visited. That I can just fall across a hidden historical gem on my way to the post office or walk the literary path of my favourite characters.
It has skyscrapers, parks, ancient monuments, secret railways, amazing museums, wonderful galleries and theatres. And next year it is hosting the Olympics.
I am starting a new story at the moment and the only place it felt right to start it was in London. But not just anywhere… I have started it in one of its oldest buildings, Westminster Hall.
Westminster Hall is the oldest part of the Parliamentary estate and is intrinsically tied to the history of the UK. Go here to know more about it. I have had the chance to visit a few times for work and it every time it takes my breath away, I want to write about the stories it might hold… but as I don’t write historical fiction I am making it a fantasy YA.
What is your favourite place in the world?