South of Watford
I’ve lived south of Watford for over forty years but until a few years ago thought of myself an exile. However, the places I’ve left behind are barely recognisable any more: the people haven’t changed much but the buildings I knew, the places I haunted, have been lost. When I return I can pass as a native, but I feel like a tourist.
I hadn’t considered myself a Londoner, but I couldn’t help notice that more recent arrivals – from different parts of the world and not just different parts of the UK – embrace their new identity.
Another city has for a long time asserted ‘If you’re in Madrid, you’re from Madrid.’ I’ve now embraced my latent Londoner. This is my record of the city I encounter, the way I experience it, and the neighbours I encounter.