Living in London is like being an inmate of a reformatory school. Everywhere you turn you run into some regulation designed for your own protection. The Government is like the School Matron with her keys jangling at her waist. She orders you about, good-humouredly enough, but all the same, in no uncertain terms.
Charles Ritchie (1906-1955), The Siren Years: A Canadian Diplomat Abroad 1937-1945
I walk to Oxford Street and climb on the number 8. It’s freezing and it starts to rain and it’s the ugliest bus I’ve ever seen, rattling down the ugliest streets, in the ugliest city, in the ugliest country, in the ugliest of all possible worlds.
David Thewlis (b.1963), The Late Hector Kipling
Goodness me, isn’t London big? It seems to start about twenty minutes after you leave Dover and just goes on and on, mile after mile . . .
Bill Bryson (b. 1951), Notes from a Small Island
London is like a woman with too many years to encourage confession.
Louise Closser Hale (1872-1933), We Discover New England
Unreal City, / Under the brown fog of a winter dawn, / A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many, / I had not thought death had undone so many. / Sighs, short and infrequent, were exhaled, / And each man fixed his eyes before his feet. / Flowed up the hill and down King William Street, / To where St Mary Woolnoth kept the hours / With a dead sound on the final stock of nine.
T. S. Eliot (1888-1965), The Waste Land