Looking back I've always had a connection with the Thames. That might sound weird coming from a Northener who only moved (somewhat recklessly really!) to the Big Smoke after graduating from Dreaming Spires, in search of fame, fortune and streets paved with gold.
My first memory of the Thames is a school trip when I was aged 10. We ditched the usual end of year trip to Alton Towers, and instead our headmistress rather daringly decided to take the whole school to London for the day. Trust me – this was a big deal!
One of the high points was a boat trip down the river to Greenwich. We ate our packed lunches on the boat and I remember the headmistress glaring at my lovingly packed salad and a pink blancmange in the shape of a rabbit which had miraculously survived the journey intact.
“Why couldn't your mother make you sandwiches like everyone else?” she hissed at me.
(We've never really done anything like anyone else..!)
But I didn't mind because I was transfixed by the water beneath us and the landmarks we passed. And I vowed that one day I would come back to live in this amazing city.
Well I did. And okay, I haven't really made the miraculous fame and fortune success of my life that I'd planned. By which I mean that I never did became a West End actress or a famous tv presenter (although I have had my many 15 minutes of tv fame, in my past existence as a journalist – but that's a different story!)
But I do have something much better and undreamt of back then: my wonderful, wonderful, son, with whom I am besotted (as us mothers tend to be, hopefully). And that is the big success story of my London life.
Now I have the new adventure of bringing up a family in London and discovering this amazing city anew, through my son's eyes. Right now, that means literally living on top of the Thames, as we enjoy our brand new adventure of living on a houseboat on top of the river that drew me here in the first place.
And while this may be a static houseboat, it will still take us on a journey to adventures anew.
What's your connection to the river? What do you think of water? Or what drew you to where you live now?