Being a repeat visitor to London,
I strive for balance between exploring new territory and
returning to beloved places .
Hampstead is a must for me.
A green village within the city,
and home to one of the most romantic cemeteries,
if it's possible for cemeteries to be romantic.
Stories engraved on tombstones add character, depth, and history to the overgrown bramble garden.
Fortuitously, a friend's birthday party happened to be in Hampstead on Friday night
anchoring the pilgrimage with an occasion to celebrate,
and meet new people.
Early in our friendship we realized we both had cats named Monkey.
I finally met her Monkey who made the epic journey from Los Feliz where she was rescued one Halloween night.
Like my Monkey, she had winning personality and kept finding her way onto my lap
purring as I stroked her back.
Our walk back to the tube,
through the quiet hamlet fragrant with spring blossoms,
was like a dusting of powdered sugar on top of an exemplary week.