When I left London in July to head to India, I had no idea if I was going to return again. I’ve been living in London for around ten years having first moved to Finchley when I was eighteen. Since then I’ve flitted around the city a lot due to education, work and friends. I was starting to get a little bored of London. Living in a city, in London, can be a mixed bag. On one hand it’s amazing: there are lots of opportunities to embrace art, theatre, architecture live music and events, it’s huge so you can always find somewhere new to explore; it’s hugely multicultural; the range of food is massive; the bars stay open until late and you can almost always find something to quell a hangover on your way home and the shopping…. oh the shopping, I mean Selfridges, Liberty AND Portobello Road? What more could you want or desire (not that I have made it to Portobello for a LONG time, I could, if I wanted to) The city is a place of opportunity and exploration should you wish to delve in. And in my career the money is good.
But their are downsides. Negatives. The hugeness means that things are sometimes involve a long trek; a commute to work is always a bugger to the commute again for social events? It can sometimes lead to spending around 4 hours a day on public transport and let’s be honest; it’s not fun. There are millions of people, which means that people have lots of acquaintances due to jobs and housing situations; sometimes tracking people down to arrange rendez-vous’ especially when you live in different areas and do different jobs can be highly frustrating. It can be lonely, it can be exhausting and it can be utterly draining on your soul. Comparatively the fresh air and space of the countryside is just so energising and invigorating in contrast to the strange suffocation of the city, that I started to seriously question. There is just something about open spaces; green open spaces that makes me very happy.
When I left I was finding London life particularly exhausting and I needed to reflect on the city I loved; was I still in love with London or had our long term affair come to an end?
Various factors came into play. Things I learnt about myself in India and plans I have tentatively put in place mostly revolve around the opportunities available in London. I like flexibility and cities definitely offer that. I looked seriously at Brighton. I love Brighton, I know Brighton and I am a huge fan of beaches and open water, but, at the moment I am not ready for Brighton. I don’t think. Plus it involves a massive pay cut. So it’s London and having spent the last 5 weeks in a tiny hamlet, 4 miles from civilisation, i’m heading back to the city with mixed feelings. I love the countryside. I was born in the countryside but it’s limiting and for stunts evolution. And as I mentioned the fresh air and open spaces…But It’s not where I want to be based in my twenties (still clinging on…) I want to be somewhere lively and vibrant; where having three kids, two labradors,a range rover and a husband who commutes to ‘The City’ isn’t the norm!
Despite initial prior reservations about where in London to live (How close do I want to be to work? In my profession living on the doorstep is likely to cause some major issues, particularly socially!) I knew I wanted to live somewhere I had never lived before. Circumstance, as mentioned before has hopefully lead me to a haven as opposed to a hellhole!
My chosen destination embodies the country village feel I love (large amounts of grass and deer (DEER!) alongside all of the opportunities of the city either on my doorstop or 15 minutes by train and I am pretty much IN Trafalgar Square. It also involves a relatively easy commute, although I am not 100% sure what means I will be using to commute by…
When I went to view the flat I had a wander around first to get the feel. I knew of the area, had ventured briefly before but never really explored. It has so much; wonderful delis, restaurants; independent shops and pubs; the works. It also backs onto, as I mentioned before, a huge amount of park land and is within a hop, skip and a jump to the Thames.
Despite all of this coming at me, I’m feeling relatively nervous. Probably because in the next 48 hours I will have moved house AND completed my first day at a new job – having not worked for a little over five months. It’s strange. Nervousness and anxiety combined with excitement. Excitement I’m settling somewhere again; read to rebuild everything, catch up properly with friends and develop some stability and grounding. There is sure to be an update, with photos (this blog is looking rather monochrome), soon. How soon? Well that depends on the next 48 hours… at the moment my priority is how much stuff I can fit in the back of an estate car and what to do with said stuff when I arrive, oh the benefits of living out of a rucksack!