Autumn in Hampstead Heath

Last week I was having a working lunch, when my lovely work contact casually asked what I was up to this weekend. Knowing that Saturday was going to be sunny, I said, 'oh, we might go to Hampstead Heath - we've lived in London three years and never been!'. She almost dropped her fork, and she wasn't the first one to have that reaction: when living in London for as long as we have, failing to visit Hampstead is considered nothing short of a crime. And now I understand why.

It's lucky that our first visit to Hampstead was in autumn - the vibrant October colours and the golden light of the sunset brought an air of pure London magic. The swans floating peacefully through the ponds, the sun filtering through the oranges, yellows and few lingering greens of the leafy trees and the crisp, clean air made for an unforgettable afternoon.

Days like last Saturday make me remember how and why I fell in love with London. Why living in this city will never, ever get old - that sense of exploring, of discovering new corners of the city full of little marvels, and desperately trying to capture them in a photo.

Sunsets are magical anywhere, but places like this seem made for sunsets. Made for taking a break, breathing the fresh air and just living. Made to be rendered immortal by a painter's brush (or a Canon lens).

I love this city because it's full of contradictions and different personalities. I love London because it's full of the joy of the little things: Halloween, for example, is taken seriously. Children dressed in elaborate costumes knock on doors of houses decorated with skeletons, spider webs and intricately carved pumpkins as the sun sets. London is magical, magical in its imperfections, magical in its never-ending supply of diverse beauty.

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