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My Places of Memory

On my first day in London before the group arrived, I planned my own walking tour through Kensington. I walked the same streets as I did as a child on my first visit to London with my family back in 2007. Walking the roads, I saw the visions of my past come alive again in the areas that left imprints on my soul as a child. I saw the pub where I had my first cup of hot tea in London,  a place that still exist on the corner of Gloucester road and Cromwell.  As I walked past I could see my family sitting still in the chairs outside the cafe. While reminiscing, my mental map dusted off and I began to remember the various locations in the city, no longer needing my paper map to walk the streets. Locating myself in the roads of the present but in the mindset of my childhood I finally began to recall the information stored in my mind. The streets came to life as memories past began to project on the present day stroll. I arrived early morning my first day, which allowed me to see London awaken itself as I myself awoke. One of my first stop to regain my memories was walking through Hyde Park in the early morning hours. I gazed at the cafe where I meet my great Uncle Ronnie for the first time, sitting at the bench where I saw the remembered skyline. Observing I began to notice the present day children walking to school, some with there mums and dads, while others were walking as a group in a landscape that they filled with there Imagination. These events trigger more memories, which I forgot about until I returned to the sites where they happened. I heard water flowing as I turned the corner where I observed Diana’s memorial fountain, which was one of the places I played as a child on my initial trip. Seeing the children splash around in the water I remembered my first time with the family playing and wading in the fountain. Leaving the park I walked to Harrods, which was another place where a memory came flooding back into my mind, especially all the teddy bears. In Harrods I remembered walking into a massive area of teddy bears, especially jumping into the lap of bear twenty times the size of myself as a child. Today the bear does not seem as big as I remembered; nevertheless, just maybe my perspective is a little different than in 2007. Nonetheless happiness set in as I explored the aisles of bears.

As I continued down memory lane I walked to the Natural History museum where again I was in amazement of the architecture I recalled once as a child and now seeing in a different light as eyes of a future architect. The terra-cotta tiles crest the Victorian atmosphere that still takes my breath away today. As we explored the city of London these past few days more sites of my own memory came into play.  These sites are important to remember today, as much as they were when I was a child, because they tell of historical significance and meaning. These place still hold my memories as a child’s; however, provide new memories and understanding for the present. Today these sites mean even more for me now,  since a I have been in this program and the exploration of memory studies. This trip is off to a great start as we explore the sties of memory from the Second World War. Furthermore, it was also my own memory journey of London as I explored as a child visiting my mum’s family and country of origin. My journey of my sites of a childhood memory is coming to a close tonight as we travel to the next location in our itinerary. I look forward to creating memories at the new sites,  while one day recalling my memories of this special adventure I am on.