Dear London, It’s Not You, It’s Me...
I think we’re finished, you and me. We had a good 25 years, so don’t be sad. But you’re too busy, too fast, too full of people in a hurry, too smelly, too much now.
25 years is a good run. 25 years of visiting, shopping, living, studying, working, playing, partying; we did well.
I don’t think it’s got that much busier, there are more people of course, but not everywhere and not all the time.
Do you remember our quiet moments on Waterloo Bridge at night? In the parks on work days, Sundays in the City or Lincoln’s Inn Fields? The plays we saw, the meals we ate, the fun we had, the friends we made? It was all good.
Work in Mayfair when I still thought corporate life was good; work in theatre to pay for Uni – and all the after hours partying. Then all those brief encounters as I passed through on my way back home from Moscow, Exeter and then Sussex.
I’ve run up those stairs at Marylebone more times than I care to remember, dashing for the last train to Gerrards Cross, unable to tear myself away from you and your lascivious ways until the last moment.
But I’m a country bumpkin now, I yearn for slow and green and quiet, for the sea and more space. Where I live now seems built up, and it’s a far cry from Bethnal Green or Bloomsbury! Different times, a different person, I suppose. It’s not you, it’s me.
Now you make my shoes hurt and my nose prickle; it’s all too busy, too fast, too much.
You have lots to offer still, and I won’t keep the kids away from you. We’ll come to visit from time to time, to see the dinosaurs or the art, to walk by the river and to see the Christmas lights. But, for now at least, you and I are over.
I will always be proud of you, for your culture, your diversity, your architecture, your parks, your beauty – and first Muslim mayor, way to go!!
But I’m happy to be a tourist, an outsider, now.
Don’t be sad, we had a good run.
All my love,