I don’t love you anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had 18 wonderful years living in your crazy city. I met my wife, had my kidney transplant and gave birth to my baby all within the North Circular.
But recently I’ve slowly fallen out of love with you… it’s wiping black snot from my daughter’s nose, it’s having our car broken in to 4 times in a year, it’s Kate’s disabled badge being stolen, it’s Scout’s bag being nicked from outside our front door, it’s heaving a buggy up flights and flights of stairs with no one offering to help and the lift being broken for months on end (yes, King’s Cross – I’m looking at you.) It’s the speed people drive down our road scratching and knocking our car as they do, it’s the insane prices for coffee and nursery… £100 for a day for child care? Well, I might as well not go back to work. It’s getting on the bus and not knowing what kind of person is going to leer at your or your baby, it’s the hideousness of traffic, parking, oyster costs. It’s not being able to afford or get tickets for anything that you want to go to. It’s not being offered a seat on the tube as you carry you heavily pregnant belly and wipe sweat from your brow.
London is a waiting room. A waiting room for people to meet their spouse, to shake off dating and clubbing days, to get on the career ladder, to while away your twenties eating takeaways and drinking wine in cheap bars, staying up all night, spending way beyond your means but not caring. Then one day if you are lucky enough you give birth to a tiny precious bundle. One you would give your whole life up for in a heart beat. And you start to see London in a totally different way… a darker way.
Like a protective Mama Bear I feel I need to get out of London, taking my girls with me, for a better life. For more space, cleaner air, an affordable lifestyle. Stairs! A garden which isn’t the size of a matchbox.
Goodbye London. I’ll never forget you.