Sunday, 7 August 2011

I Love You, Waterloo Bridge

Waterloo Bridge
The London Eye from Waterloo Bridge, Saturday 6th August 2011, taken by me

Waterloo Bridge is the king of London bridges. Why is it masculine? I'm not really sure. But it's strong, and comforting, and it makes me feel safe. Like everything's okay. (Though maybe that's more indicative of my relationship with men.)

I moved to London for university eight years ago, and never wanted to go back to the tiny town in Dorset where I spent the first eighteen years of my life. Broadstone is sweet, and peaceful, but it's not me. I enjoy a short visit to my parents a few times a year, but when the train pulls in to Waterloo Station from its journey across the south coast, I feel a sense of relief. As my footsteps fall over Waterloo Bridge, I feel like I'm coming home. Like everything's okay.

Wendy Cope has written a poem that reflects upon this magnificent bridge better than my words can:

After The Lunch
On Waterloo Bridge where we said our goodbyes,
the weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I've fallen in love
On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. you're high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?
On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You're a fool. I don't care.
the head does its best but the heart is the boss-
I admit it before I am halfway across
Wendy Cope

Whenever I'm halfway across Waterloo Bridge, I snap a photo. The view from Waterloo Bridge showcases the best of London's landmarks, and it seems to change every time I cross it. These photos are not very good, but they're a chronicle of my homecoming and I hope the different moods show why I cannot get enough of the king of bridges.