Nostalgia always seems to strike me as I head to the Big Smoke or down to Brighton, especially when using the train. I find myself thinking about the two years I lived in London and the things I really loved about it.
I moved to London to seek my fame and fortune after I finished university, having been a country girl for the majority of my life, I found that I adjusted to the life surprisingly quickly.
When I met Mr Pigeon, we had a choice whether we stayed in London or we move out to the commuter belt in the South East, where his friends and family mostly resided. We chose the latter, but sometimes, as I make my way to one of my two favourite cities, I like to think about what I miss….and what I don’t.
I found the transition of big city back to suburbs quite difficult after living in such a great big mush of amazing people from all races, religions, cultures and backgrounds.
I was used to walking down the street in all manner of outlandish garb and not even getting a second look, however, in the suburbs, anything as fashion forward as faux stocking top tights gets whispers, pointing and the odd head tilt. It gets seriously old….
I have however learnt not to give two hoots and I now proudly wear all my ‘London Clothes’ here and stick out like a sore thumb with glee…. but I do miss the drag queens, the punks with the 3ft lilac mohawks and old ladies wearing fur coats and sequins
Oh lordy…. how I miss it. Yes it wasn’t perfect, but when you grew up in a village where the buses where once an hour, you have no idea how joyous it was to be able to just wait 5 minutes for a tube! AND THE BUS RUNS ALL NIGHT?! I truly miss the night bus, despite how scummy it was, there is nothing like knowing that however drunk you are you just have to make your way to CentrePoint in those sky high heels and climb aboard.
I very rarely get public transport in the ‘burbs. It takes such a long times to get anywhere and actually works out to be so much more expensive that driving to town and parking…. sigh.
I however don’t miss the ‘others’ on public transport….them with their MASSIVE backpacks that hit you in the face as they turn round, them with no control of their perspiration, the tourists, the drunks, them with their music playing out loud and the open-mouthed starers.
What shall we do tonight? In the city, you can do whatever the hell you please. I’ve been to West End shows and sat in the best seats for pittance as I’ve turned up 5 minutes before curtain, I’ve been to museums after work, I’ve been to gigs and live events… all at a moments notice, because in the city…there is always something going on and you can forget about cooking dinner as there is always somewhere cheap to eat if you know where to go.
I don’t miss nobody being able to make a decision as there were so many options. Or how much money you spent in the pub. Or having to travel 45 minutes to get ANYWHERE to meet up with your friends for a quick one after work. Who the hell does that outside of a city? No-one…that’s who.
We all have days where we want to turn our collars up to the world and speak to nobody. In a city, you can. In the suburbs however, I have to say ‘Good Morning’ to at least three people from the dash from my porch to my car…. I have full on chats with my neighbours…yeah it’s nice that someone takes in my parcels and wants to engage me about the weather, my dog and how my life is going generally…but here I have to keep up my pretence of being vaguely normal on a day-to-day basis.
I did find London quite lonely at times, but there were days when I truly reveled in not having to utter a word to anybody.
London in the summer is glorious… you know what isn’t glorious? Your feet after walking around in sandals all day in a city. You literally look like a Dickensian urchin….not a great look when you get to someone’s flat and you have to take your shoes off.
Also I hated the amount of smut that I used to rinse out of my hair EVERY DAY after using the tube. And the fact you couldn’t touch ANY handrails in case you caught something foul with pustules.
Yeah….I really don’t miss the muck.
My life in the city involved a lot of sharing… flat sharing, fridge sharing, carriage sharing, space sharing. Whilst most of it was quite fun and I loved it at the time, I realise now that I’m utterly selfish and I hate to share.
I want a garden of my own, I want a fridge where things don’t go missing, a shower where it is JUST MY HAIR IN THE DRAIN. Of course, I don’t live like that, as I now share with my husband and soon, our own little nightmare, but those are people I love and WANT to share with (most of the time)…not that I just tolerate.
I think we made the right choice moving to the commuter belt…but if they could just get a takeaway to stay open till 2am on a Sunday here, I’d be more than grateful.