The oldest road in Britain - crammed with 2,000 years of history - a feast of famous people born and lived here and yet the story of Kilburn and critically the Kilburn High Road is one of the least known stories.
(This article was first published on Liberal Democrat Voice www.libdemvoice.org)
If it didn’t exist would you create it? Well based on tonight, the answer for the London Gay Men’s Chorus was a resounding Yes.
As thousands of members of the LGBT community poured into Soho, supported by friends, family and a host of straight allies - everyone was very uncertain. The nervousness was palpable with no-one clear about what was going to happen next. There were a few attempts to get a political chant going, but the crowd was more contemplative. As the hour of 7pm approached there was a hanging sense of expectation in the air.
It's good evening Belgrade and so I take my walk down of an evening to where the refugee camp is by the central railway and bus station. I arrive and as I sort of suspected it's cleared - the grass which had worn away has been lightly ploughed over, the open areas have been cordoned off and there is a sense of renewal. Everything has changed.
The Emperor Trajan Decius was born here and I love it
Coming to the Balkans has been one of the most special things ever. I have seen a set of countries that fascinate and amaze - hidden treasures and history.
But most of all I have met people who charm, and talk and sing with enthusiam. And more than that I have made friends.
Today I fly back to London, to my home, my partner, my family and other friends. I leave behind hopes and fond memories. But before I leave I have just been for a walk round my favourite park here in Belgrade - Academic Park - the site of the former Roman Baths of the city of Singidunun. As I wander through I see and sense the history, I construct the stories and re-enact the chatter gossip and news of ancient times. For me it brings history to life and I imagine that the bold statues are former Emperors, Senators and Poets. I see the crumbling features and I imagine the decline of the power of Rome.
It is a huge privilege to travel - I think the greatest privilege - to see, learn and educate yourself about who you are and what you can do. To see human nature out of your own context and in a foreign land. But for me Serbia is no foreign land - Viminacium, Naissus, Taurunum, Budalia (where Trajan Decius was born) Surmium, to see the Pannonian Sea and the Danube and the palaces and forts and baths and more. These are places I studied, tensions I understood and roads travelled that I read about for my degree. They bring the third century of Ancient Rome alive for me.
And so as I leave, having worked and trained and laughed with friends I give huge and grateful thanks for the chances I have had and hope for more to come. Love you Serbia, love you Balkans, love you Pannonia and Moesia.