Sunday, September 15, 2013

Tired of London, tired of life?

I’ve spent a little bit of time in London lately, both with and without Lady P. Londoners will be pleased to hear that my love for it has been revived. Seeing theatre posters, the purchase of kim chee, the flower stalls outside Tube stations, crossing the Thames, reading on the Tube, ah, London! Lovely London!

And that’s before I even think about the people. So many people hustling and bustling around in outlandish outfits. The average Joe just looks more edgy and sophisticated in London, I think. And older people look younger - like those nicely batty looking 70 year old women with felt beads and feathers in their hair, or cool 60-somethings in jeans and Converse. You don't see as many pensioners in denim outside of London, it seems to me. And then the people who really matter, our old, dear friends, some of whom have admittedly moved out but are still in arm’s reach.

And yet, I admit to feeling some of the things I used to consider ridiculous when out-of-towners said them. The daft statements that used to irritate me on the lips on visitors come to my mind. Like, how long it takes to get anywhere. And how crowded the pavements are. How noisy it is everywhere. And feeling that familiar clamminess on a warm Tube after walking at a fast clip along a rainy street.

Seeing people with buggies on public transport I think ‘what a hassle’. Funny that, considering I always thought London was the best place to raise a family (thanks to all those wonderful parks and the cultural events on the South Bank…) and manoeuvring a buggy on public transport would have been a normal part of the London life we were planning until recently.

I suppose it’s post-rationalisation. Perhaps best I don't to examine it too deeply.


  1. Hopefully San Francisco will give you the best of both worlds - lots of cultural liveliness but not the same squashed-in-public-transport feeling. That's what I find with Auckland. Although I am constantly guilty about how many super cultural experiences I am not taking my children to!

  2. Ah Cumulus, San Fran would in some ways be an easier transition - still chilly and also a bit more European in its sensibilities + walkable. But it's silly, sunny LA we're moving back to. No public transport to speak of, but plenty of cultural liveliness. Also re the super cultural experiences, listen, you took them to a whole other country - I think that's plenty to be going along with !