Maybe it’s because I’m a… Well, what am I? A tennis aficionado, cricket fan, doting grandma, natural-wonders-of-the-world enthusiast or… “Maybe it’s because I’m a Londoner” that an A-Z map of London 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle provided an irresistible challenge.
The west half of the puzzle was marginally easier than the east for my husband and I to tackle as, in our youth, I’d worked in Paddington and he was at Imperial College in Kensington. Half a century on and we managed to complete that part of the puzzle with its royal parks. Next came the blue loop of the Thames, and then main roads in yellow were put in place. But we were left with myriads of tiny white bits with random lettering for all the little roads. Tricky. After many days of putting in a few pieces every time we passed the table, the job was done.
The jigsaw made me realise that there’s a lot of London I’ve never penetrated. These days I occasionally go through London below ground en route elsewhere, but last Wednesday, on a rare visit above ground, I met my youngest daughter and her three year old for a picnic lunch in St James’s Park. We topped off our visit with ice creams in Embankment Gardens, watching Roger Federer on a big screen. At that point he was winning; by the time I was home, back in the countryside of the southwest, he’d lost. I may no longer be a true Londoner but I’ll always be a tennis aficionado.