Thoughts on Leaving London

So, it's happening guys. I'm currently sat in a half-packed room, severely lamenting the amount of bunting I decided to put up when we first moved into this flat. Seriously though, what goes up must come down and in this case it's MILES AND MILES OF TINY FLAGS. I was for sure over-keen to use the sewing machine I got for my birthday last year...

It's a slow process but it's happening, in between lesson planning, coffee, standing outside momentarily in the sunshine, chucking out miscellaneous receipts, chasing next doors cat out from under the bed, sticking things in my scrapbook and willing my tomatoes to ripen every couple of hours.

Remember when I posted this, about being in love with my tiny garden and the fruit and veg I've been growing in tubs? Well, it's backlash central here in South London, as all my raspberries, strawberries and tomatoes have decided to wait until moving week to ripen. I am doing sun dances. I am checking the dampness of soil on the hour. Essentially, I have turned into a mad harvest woman. More to the point, I am not prepared to carry a half ripened raspberry bush on my lap all the way to Yorkshire...

So how has the packing actually been going? Pretty good! Mainly because I've dedicated a whole week to it and am doing it slowly, bit by bit, with Gilmore Girls on in the background. Side note: How have I escaped Gilmore Girls all this time?! It's hilarious! It makes me want to move to America, drink filter coffee all day, have different festive decorations for each month of the year and persue crushes on boys with curtains.

Anyway, as I've been taking down our pictures and sneezing from the dust I've neglected to hoover up from under the bed, I've been thinking about my time here in London and what I'll miss/not miss. 

What I'll Miss

  • Southbank. Oh, I love the Southbank. Royal Festival Hall always has something free on, there's an insanely good street food market round the back, the National Theatre bars have serenely quiet rooftop gardens and you can meander right to Blackfriars happily people watching and perusing the stalls. Also, I saw Eamon Holmes there last week, so there's that.
  • There's someone here from everywhere. The diversity is one of the best things about London and I'll miss the hundreds of different conversations, languages, clothes and food I come across each day. Where I am there's quite a big West Indian community and I'll never get bored of hearing tannoy announcements in Sainsbury's done in a Caribbean accent.
  • There's always something to do. Whether you can afford to or not is another question, but the amount of poetry nights, free gigs, Scandinavian markets, kilo clothes sales, coffee festivals and gin tasting on offer is endless. 

What I Won't Miss

  • Public transport. There is nothing like carrying a set of year 10 books through Clapham Junction at 6pm. No. Thanks.
  • People thinking you're weird if you say hello/smile/make a comment about the tube being unusually quiet. I'm hardly Miss. Blabbermouth, but come on! Acknowledge my existence!
  • Concrete. I live opposite a really nice common, but it's not a field, or a hill or a river. I want unbroken scenery and being able to go on adventures without planning for it two months in advance.

I've had a great time here. I've made some brilliant friends, swooned under the gilded ceilings of London's royal palaces, endured the tube horribly hungover on the way to Feminist conferences, and brunched more times than I thought humanly possible. This weekend just gone we had our last BBQ together and walked everything over the road to eat it on the common. I'm keeping that as my lasting memory. 

London, you've been great. You've made me (and my parents) poorer and more resentful of tourists, but I feel a better, more well-rounded person for living in this mad city.

Yorkshire - I cannot wait to come and explore!

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