One thing that is symptomatic of living in London is that the London-liver inevitably experiences inconceivable highs and lows whilst living in the city, and therefore develops a sort of love-hate relationship with the place. And this love-hate dichotomy is, in my opinion, entirely cyclical. For example, a walk on an unusually sunny Saturday afternoon may coincide with the pleasant discovery of a quirky food market, just as my tummy starts to rumble. An extra drizzle of maple syrup on my hipster peanut butter and banana waffles? Yes please sir! What's that? Oyster car reader on the bus isn't working you say? The shame! And thus the romance blossoms and the whole day, and the one that follows, you feel just super. On Monday morning you may still be in high spirits as you leave the house, a little spring in your step as you leap gallantly from road to payment feeling sprightly and youthful as ever (did that cat just smile at me?), maybe even avoiding stepping on the white lines as you walk to the tube station (shh we've all done it).
But don't be fooled for a cotton-picking moment, because as sure as the sun will rise, that romance will be irrevocably terminated, and replaced with hatred of the highest form. Call me impatient, but for me it can be something as simple as being held at a red signal on the tube, or leaving my work pass at home, that signals that the end is nigh. I handle the situation with patience and fortitude, fending off mother misfortune. But alas, she soon intervenes further with a greedy vending machine, a low laptop battery timed perfectly with an unsaved document, or a meeting that encroaches on my lunch break. And voila! My transformation to angry Londoner is complete. And so the cycle continues, time and time again.
And therein lies the purpose of my putting pen to paper, or for want of a more accurate term of phrase, fingers to keyboard, in a wholehearted attempt to mend these bridges that I have with London town. I can almost feel the cathartic waves washing over me already. This blog is actually part of a larger effort on my part to re-discover all the good parts that London has to offer.
As a Portsmouth girl by origin, I appreciate that there are plenty of things that you can do in London that you simply can't in the rest of the country. When friends from home come to visit me it reminds me how great this city can be. The newest flatmate to join our Bermondsey pad, Ed, is a London newbie who just can't get enough of the place. Myself and my fellow housemate southerner Oli envy his optimism like you wouldn't believe.
A few weeks ago, after a stressful day at work in the city I came home to find Ed stretched happily across the sofa like a contented cat who'd got the cream. He told me he'd realised that in London you can do literally anything you want. And I guess that, funds allowing, that's pretty much true. From aerial yoga and neon trampoline workouts, to glitzy West End shows, to wacky restaurants, first class immersive theatre, sofa/rooftop cinemas, UV bowling/golf, to cat/bunny cafes. My latest muse is an immersive dining company called Barrel and Forks who I hear seamlessly fuse art and eating, two of my favourite things. How could that concept possibly not work? I've got tickets for a particular themed event next month in a secret location...I would tell more, but ticket holders don't find out more until 48 hours before it happens. I digress, but essentially there are plenty of weird, wacky, and wonderfully creative folk out there who bring exciting and novel concepts to the table in London. With so many cultures, backgrounds, personalities and religions all in one big smelting pot of a city it is inevitable that sometimes, what is spat out isn't just a mediocre chain restaurant (Wasabi/McDonalds/not-so Bella Italia/Starbucks, I'm referring to you) or an overpriced cinema ticket.
And in a bid to rekindle the romance with London, I will try to bring to you some juicy fresh blogs telling you all about my adventures in the city. There's lots to do here and it's my mid-year resolution to put myself out there and enjoy it. I guess what I'm saying is that you're not perfect London, but there's lots to love about you, and I'm ready for a serious relationship.