Talking Point 5: An Old Place with New Eyes
This photograph was taken this week when we climbed high above the 02 building in London and leaned out over the capital at dusk. It was one of those magic moments, made even more special because I hadn’t expected to enjoy it so much. When I lived and worked in London the building was the Millennium Dome, cursed from the outset by bad planning, runaway budgets, political arguments and unrealistic expectations. Back then my visit to the Dome was possibly one of the worst days out I have ever had.
So what’s different now, it or me?
The curved roof might be the same today, but the skyscape has changed. There’s Shards and Gherkins now, and beneath the Dome another transformation. The 02 (as it’s now known) is now a buzzing cultural and sporting hub in a part of London that’s undergone substantial reinvestment and is riding high after the London 2012 Olympics.
The East End isn’t the only thing that’s reinvented itself. London seems to have changed while I’ve been away. I see now my memories were stuck in the past. I remembered a dark grim metropolis with transport that didn’t work, tired grey people, overpriced attractions and mediocre food. But that’s not my experience today, somehow it seems fresh, modern, vibrant and culturally stimulating.
But then again, perhaps it’s me and my viewpoint that’s changed. This week I am seeing my capital city as a visitor and tourist. I don’t need to battle through the traffic, or cope with the boredom of commuting. We’ve been staying in central London, visiting palaces, hopping around popular attractions. It’s both familiar, and new. It’s fresh and exciting. And I love it. I am glad we did something different this week. I’m glad we revisited the past, gave it another chance and have got to see an old familiar place with new eyes.
Have you ever revisited a familiar place and found that it, (or you) has changed? Leave a comment and join in with this week’s talking point.
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Talking Point is our series of short Photo Friday posts. Each week we pick a photo, post a talking point and invite you to join the conversation. Leave a comment with your thoughts or tell us what the photo says to you.