Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Some Like It Hot

London is not for everyone, granted, but I reckon if you can't handle the heat, stay out of the city. There is nothing worse than a neo-countryite taking a day-trip to town and then complaining about the cost and the crowds and the buses. They're our buses and only we can complain about them, we know they're too hot and too crowded and we hate the bendy-buses but they do, eventually, take us to some of the world's greatest galleries and museums, theatres and restaurants (even if they are prohibitively expensive). Plus, if I want to go kick coloured leaves in the autumn sunshine, I can in Regents Park, or Hyde Park or on the glorious Hampstead Heath. I can row boats on the Serpentine and eat ice cream on the South Bank, all within spitting distance of obscure Oriental underground films, cutting-edge, prize-winning art and every variety of Balsamic vinegar known to man. I live here despite the hardships and expense because, right now, there's nowhere else in England I want to live. And the onset of middle age has done nothing to change that. However, I know a number of people who have made the momentous decision to up sticks and move to .....the sticks. And well done, good for you, hurrah there's more room on the god-awful bendy bus, I applaud your choice. But, I do not need to be told every ten minutes why it was the best thing you ever did, should have done it sooner, and oh what a dark dangerous place London is. Because actually it's not. You know you'd be back in the city in a hot second given half the chance.

I never have to bang on and on about how wonderful the place I live in is because it's very name carries sufficient cache without any embellishments, as in Paris, New York, Rome, we all know what's missing. I think the older I get the more the city has to offer. I may have made room at the bar but there's still plenty to do out there that doesn't involve an illicit deal and a glow stick. Neither do I feel the need to slag off Brighton, or diss Diss, or go on endlessly about the joy of Gloucestershire's Daylesford Organic farm shop. . . . .and anyway, I can buy muddied vegetables every weekend in a school playground only 5 minutes walking distance from my graffiti tagged doorstep. No, I respect anyone's decision to call it a day, cancel the subscription to Time Out, give up their Oyster pass and go native, just please don't feel the need to share it with the rest of us. To misquote Samuel Johnson; when you are too old for London......

Top tip: Check out the website for The Union Chapel for an excellent London night out.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Young at Heart,
    I love the passionate way in which you defend your incredible city! Life is so unfair, here I am DYING to visit London and yet others don't appreciate it...Go figure!
    I love your Blog and will follow it in my "Purple Caravan"