The 7/11 banner stood out amongst the greying shop signs on George St as I wandered underfoot, and for a fleeting moment deja-vu transported me to Kensington, London…
“So my mum wants to host a dinner with you and N’s boyfriend this weekend,” he casually introduced, referring to his sister, N, as we stepped outside of the convenience store. An afternoon of Boris biking around Hyde Park had led to a striking thirst, while the 2 for 1 deal saw us emerging with four ice teas!!!
My face must’ve contorted in panic for he quickly jumped in: “it’s nothing serious, she just wants to meet you guys, have a nice dinner. She cooks SO much, don’t eat at all that day you honestly won’t be able to finish the meal – and trust me, you’ll want to finish everything!”
I linked my fingers through his, looking up at his nervous little expression. “I can’t wait,” I said, “but ahhh I need to go get flowers!! What do I wear?!”
“Shhhh you don’t need to worry about anything!!” We sped up a pace or two as rain began again to fall, much more gently than it had a few hours beforehand.
“And don’t get me started on how excited she is that you’re veggie,” he rambled excitedly, keen to get the whole family together. “N’s ex was vegetarian and oh my lord my mother loved to have him over for dinner.”
I was jostled about and quickly reached for my bag, keenly aware that this deep in the city there were unsuspecting pickpockets lurking. I looked up, and instead of the Albert Hall shining as a beacon in the distance through the clouds, I saw Town Hall beckoning. Sydney had a distinctly different feel on a cloudy day like today. And he was still there, next to me, albeit through my phone rather than physically there. It could almost – just almost – have been the heart of London…xx