Why you should always look up…

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From my windows, I can see a few of London’s rooftops, and a mint green dome that reminds me of St Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal, where I grew up. Both domes have that funny quality of seeming to be visible from anywhere as long as you’re far away enough. Real geography could prove me wrong, but I have these memories of being able to pick St Joseph’s out of the rest of the downtown core from all the way in Laval, the next city over. Similarly, no matter where I am in my flat, there is that oxidized copper top, made all the more beautiful by London’s sunsets and cloud formations.

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It embarrasses me to say that I couldn’t figure out exactly what I was gazing at. It looked like the church should be either by Archway station, or a bit further up in Highgate Village – but I had walked around both too many times to count and had never come across anything that could be it. That is, until this past weekend, when I was taking a route I frequently take, from Waterlow Park in Highgate down the hill back to Holloway Road. There’s an awkward intersection with the Karl Marx Tea Rooms on one corner and a church on the other, and I thought it’d be quicker if I crossed the street earlier than usual. For some reason I glanced upwards, and was startled to see it THE DOME front of me – how had I passed it by every other time before! In a nice symmetrical twist, the church is also named St Joseph’s…making me feel like I’ll always have a regal green dome following me around no matter where I live. I know you’re always supposed to look up in London, and I thought I had been doing a good job of it, but this goes to show that there’s always something more to see…

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