Thursday, 8 June 2017

Notes On Going Home To London


Did you move away from your hometown? For me, London is always a great and strange place to visit as it sparks so many memories – some good, some not so good – of growing
up. This is mainly because I lost my mum in my 20s, so when I go back, it's always likely I'm confronted with something that reminds me of her, which can be comforting, yet tough at the same time. Dan and I moved to Brighton 15 years ago, and even though we're settled and visit London all the time, there are still things I miss – and don’t miss – from my hometown. Here’s my current list:

Things I miss:
  1. It feels like home
  2. My old London friends
  3. Proper London accents
  4. The edginess of living in a major city, having to watch my back
  5. Diverse culture
  6. The museums
  7. Theatreland
  8. Having a favourite Tube line
  9. Discussing the best Tube journeys
  10. The 227 bus (!)
  11. The view from Frank's Cafe in Peckham
  12. London pubs 
  13. The energy of a big city
  14. The feeling of living in one of the world's best cities
  15. Oxford Street at Christmas time
  16. Using my Oyster card
  17. Good service in restaurants
  18. Bumping into people I've known for years
  19. Pretty Georgian streets
  20. Knowing short cuts
  21. City white noise. Sirens etc. 
  22. Going for night-time drives into central London at the weekend
  23. Lock ins (!)
  24. Better job opportunities.



Things I don’t miss:
  1. The cost of things, especially houses
  2. Taking aaaaages to drive just one mile
  3. Getting on the Tube in peak morning rush hour
  4. Being pushed by people on the Tube 
  5. Being mown down by super-fast, angry cyclists
  6. Smog
  7. Seeing swathes of commuters dressed in grey and black

I assumed the longer I lived away from London, I’d never want to move back. Even though I'm settled in Brighton with a house and my Dad lives around the corner, I always consider London my proper home and never rule out the idea of moving back – much to most of my friends' frustration probably! "Move back already," I can hear them thinking whenever I say I miss London. (True, my friends?)

If you've left your hometown, what do you miss/not miss?

This post is inspired by Nora Ephron’s list, What I’ll Miss,What I won’t Miss.

Top picture via Georgian London

3 comments:

  1. I miss my 2 best friends and the food from Rome. That's actually it! I really meant it when I left. Infact, I tried to escape once earlier when I moved (unexpectedly) to London. I miss many more things about London than Rome! The friends I made, how exciting and a bit alienating it can feel, neighbourhood life, SE London, pub life, park life, bookstores and second hand shops, amazing gigs/retro nights/dance halls, the juxtaposition of traditional and modern, vegan fare, youth culture, the freedom/quirkiness in dressing, people watching, people calling me "luv" and when it starts getting chilly in September. These are just my favourite ones! Sorry I don't think I'm helping you in not missing London...

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  2. Oh and the architecture of course!

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  3. I think the length of your 'things you miss' list says it all Els - time to come back :)

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