A Love Letter to London
I am a northern English girl, born and bred. I love the North, its cities and its people. When I left home for my university, I didn’t even consider anywhere further south than Sheffield, and ended up settling in Manchester with a bunch of northern friends… and affordable rent!
But in September, it will be a whole year since I moved to London. Visiting here is so much fun, like splashing about in the shallow end of a nice pool, or having a dip in a Jacuzzi – and moving here straight after graduation to work full-time on my blog felt a lot like diving in at the deep end, without a single swimming lesson.
As a city you're not like anywhere else, and my time here has been an emotional roller coaster of highs and lows. I am a total sucker for sentimental milestones, so 12 months on seems like the perfect time for me to look back on my first experience living in London, and try to figure out why I've ended up falling completely in love with you!
Is it the people? Surely not, I thought... I just don’t get big-city Londoners...or do I? It turns out – even though they pronounce everything "wrong" and all sound like either the Queen or Russell Brand – I do! The people I've met and the friends I've made in here, no matter what their background, are driven, creative, and (most importantly) always up for a laugh. Maybe they won’t always smile at you on the Tube, but who really wants that anyway?
I'd be lying if I said appearance has nothing to do with my love for you, London: you really are quite beautiful from the right angle, at the right time. Watching a pink sunset over the skyline from a rooftop, sitting in the front seat on the top deck of a bus across Tower Bridge, or walking around world famous landmarks at night is like seeing your boyfriend in his best clothes, with a fresh haircut!
Over time, too, you find yourself charmed by what others might think are your partner's imperfections. Maybe your girlfriend has a funny tooth – but that’s your fave thing about her! Peckham High Street can get a little crowded, but it’s got a really fancy Burger King and a salon called Beyoncé’s.
I could not possibly write about my love for you, London, without talking about the food. After moving here, I became a vegan – and have been living it up, hopping between the city’s best meat- and dairy-free spots. Here, eating out and discovering new restaurants, pop-ups, and market stalls is basically a competitive sport: my own personal Olympics. If my stomach is the way to my heart, that must be where you got me!
I think all my positive feelings toward you can be summed up in one word: opportunity. The opportunity to meet people, be inspired, see bands, see art, make art... to experience unique events that just don’t happen anywhere outside the capital. Part of me resents that you almost "have" to live in London to succeed and move up in a creative industry. But now that I'm here, I have to say there is something unequaled about the infinite prospects available here for me – if not immediately, then at some point in the future.
London, you can be overwhelming, sometimes even oppressive. But your opportunity keeps that little but constant buzz permanently going on in my stomach!