This piece was an entry in Britain's New Statesman magazine's weekly competition.   The challenge was 'Jason Cowley recently wrote in the NS: "Modern travel writing is in crisis, too often no more than an indulgence of ego." Could we have an excessively egocentric piece of travel writing in which the well-known itinerary/ destination takes a decided second place.'   This was my contribution, which won a prize.

The Egocentric Travel Review

When London was visited by me recently, I was not at all what it had expected.   I have a surprisingly sunny temperament with a year-round dry sense of humour and am altogether friendlier and more hospitable than my reputation might lead one to believe.   My visit was in autumn, so I was less busy than usual and the city was able to have almost all of me to itself.   During the day it opened up its parks, museums and art galleries to me and at night staged West End shows for my pleasure.   In all, London enjoyed my presence for two weeks but cannot pretend to have discovered everything that I have to offer -- it would take a lifetime of being me to do that.   But at least it caught some of my flavour, which is all any major city can ever hope to do.   Would that they could all be visited by me (“Had we but Reeve enough, and time…”).   But I, the Eternal Traveller, will now grant Rome a visit and so London must bid me a tearful farewell.   It joins those other fortunate cities that can say, “Be seen by Reeve and die!”

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