Ten years ago today, I was flying into London with my bags packed for a new life and voicemail messages from James about how terrorists were blowing up the city. With heightened security, all of us boarded the plane anyway.
I landed in a city deserted. All of the cabs had long since been taken by commuting workers stranded by the eerily quiet transport system, shut down by the morning's bombs. The last option for transport was a limo, complete with chauffeur, so I was greeted by two men in suits and a placard with my name on it.
There was no traffic from Heathrow to Holborn. I've never seen anything like it since.
James himself had breezed past not one but two of the blast sites on his way to the office. Then, as the city realized what had happened, the phone networks became overwhelmed and normal life disappeared into a mix of chaos and the remarkable calm that only London can possess as it's having the shit kicked out of it. The place has had practice, after all.
Within two days, people were taking the tube to work again. Within three months, we moved onto Edgware Road.
This morning, I woke up to a lovely email reminding me that, despite the somber anniversary and the rough landing into English life, today also marks a decade of having gained a family and having started an adventure that changed my life forever.
London, you're a tough old city. I'm loving you a lot today.