I am from York and moved back here a year and a half ago after 11 years in London & before that 3 in ‘ull as a student. I love London but didn’t feel it was the right place to bring up kids, and had always thought a decade there would be enough for me. I love it in York – I live in a lovely village south of the city and have made some wonderful friends already – mostly mums with kids the same age as mine. There is a nice sense of community which I hope I am adding to by creating a facebook group for it. Anyway, I lived in Walthamstow in East London – firstly in a rented flat then we bought a terraced house which we lived in for over 9 years. We had some great parties there & by working from home & having a baby, I really utilised the local facilities – pubs, cafes, shops, childrens centres and so on. I do really miss being able to go to a cafe with friends here – now it’s a trek into town instead of a short walk to do so – we have play dates instead. Our local village pub isn’t that great – certainly not as nice as pubs in surrounding villages & the ‘local’ childrens centre is miles away, not minutes.
I also really miss working in the centre of London. Even though, at the end of my time working there, I was suffering from ibs & often had a horrid journey into work in the mornings where I felt really ill, I loved my lunchtimes & time after work to explore Covent Garden – there are some fab shops, restaurants & hidden gems there. My friends and I used to have photography lunchbreaks where we wandered around and had fun taking photos of each other and our surroundings. I was also lucky enough to work for the BBC for several years and miss my time there to a certain extent – it was my first job after uni & we had loads of fun – a highlight (as a colleague reminded me this week) was going to the Cbeebies launch party at Television Centre – a drunken night dancing in the TOTP studio!
I also miss being able to walk or get public transport everywhere. So far, I’ve not worked out the buses here – though I have caught the park & ride 10 minutes away a few times. There is virtually no chance of both me & my husband being able to go drinking in town without a hefty taxi bill – I know I moaned about the tubes / buses while in London but to be able to get back from anywhere there without spending a penny extra on top of your travelcard, is a pretty damn fine perk of living in the capital.
I miss the diversity of people that you found in London – it is very white middle class here – I rarely hear a foreign accent or someone jabbering away in a language I don’t understand, or wearing clothes which signify a certain background or religion. I am lucky to have friends from all over the world, but they were nearly all made when I was in London – here my friends are all English, which there is nothing wrong with, but I do miss taking the mickey out of friends for mispronouncing words or the funny ways they get words muddled up & I have to decipher what they mean.
Lastly, I miss my friends there – I’m lucky that some have visited or I’ve met up with them while in London, but I really need to make an effort to catch up more. That is my spring resolution – in fact my diary is already starting to fill up with visits from my friends there & as soon as we have bought our bigger car we’ll be making a return journey to the big smoke.