I suppose I should say a little bit about myself. My name is Tom, and I’ve lived in London all my life. I live in London, I work in London, I went to school in London, I was born and raised in London. I’m very proud to describe myself as a Londoner. I love to explore the place, but even after living here all this time, I still feel like I hardly know it.
I’m hardly alone in this. The city is different things to different people. To some, it’s a vibrant centre of modern urban culture. To some it’s a place of historical curiosity. To some, an exciting, bustling metropolis. To some, an overcrowded, stressful dystopia. It’s a shopping centre. It’s an artistic centre. It’s the centre of some people’s worlds. To others, a place to be avoided at all costs.
Then there are aspects of it that are a mystery to everyone. For instance, nobody actually knows where the name “London” comes from. Places within London, sure (for instance, we know that “Westminster” means “minster to the west”), but we can only speculate as to how the city as a whole came by its name. A theory favoured for a long time was that of Geoffrey of Monmouth, who claimed in Historia Regum Britanniae that it was named after King Lud. However, this book also claims that Britain was founded by refugees from Troy, so its accuracy may be suspect.
It’s a deeply random city, and this blog is my tribute to that randomness – part history, part geography, part whatever-I-feel-like-writing-about. It’s probably psychogeographical, though damned if I can find any two people who agree on what that term means.
The plan is to update twice a week, plus whenever the hell I feel like it.