3 Sep 2018

Falling Out Of Love with London


It's 14.28, I'm currently sat on a packed commuter train from London Euston to Manchester after a packed weekend in Brighton and London. Having left the shitty excuse for a "Aparthotel" in Hammersmith, not quite The Shining but maybe more something out of Hostel, I have had to spend (or perhaps waste) nearly four hours of my life waiting in the train station to catch the cheapest train of the day, which I'm currently aboard. A product of my own doing, having logged in to the virgin trains website daily planning on booking my ticket when I finally got round to it the ticket price had doubled and so I no longer could be choosy with my booking. However after living in London for three years I have now mastered the seating, if you get to the station 20 minutes in advance of your departure, the platform number will appear 18 minutes before, you can then be the first in the queue and get a seat in the unreserved 'U' train and like me you can be sat facing the direction you're going, window seat with a table and a plug socket. Heading, might I say in the correct direction, away from London.

The 4 hours I had been waiting a the station (I was kicked out at 10 from my hotel and decided it was better for my mentality and my wallet to head straight to the station) has given me opportunity to contemplate and review the events of the weekend. When I'm not distracted by the small child that despite a hand rail between us has taken to draping her arm across my shoulder and staring at me intently as I attempt to eat my £8 sandwich and crisps (No they aren't dripping in gold leaf that's just London for you). So what am I thinking about, well, I'm thinking about how excited I was that first time I visited London, 18 and wildly naive and how different it is for me now. Perhaps this is because at 25 I am older, wiser, grumpier, or maybe it's because my brain is filled with Instagram photos of bloggers and celebs 'living their best life' with unrealistic expectations of places I've always wanted to visit. It's no wonder a part of me is disappointed. 

This weekend I visited Brighton for the first time. For one, since when were there so many hills in Brighton, it's by the sea, shouldn't it be flat? Coming off the train I was welcomed with an almost vertical incline to drag my suitcase up and then down the other side to get to our Air B&B in Seven Dials. Two, why did no-one tell me that Brighton was basically a hipster version of Blackpool? That's not throwing any shade on Brighton but there’s a beach, it's windy as fuck, there's a shit tonne of seagulls and it was just a bit 'meh'. After meeting up with a friend who is from Brighton and now lives in Manchester, she says 'Hey, you should move to Brighton, apparently all the bloggers are doing it,' again with a similar disillusion of why this would be the case. Perhaps this is the 'Youtuber Effect' in full force, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, Pew-die-pie, three top youtubers who all live and regularly film in Brighton. So, does Brighton have some fantastic success sprinkle it sprinkles on all who move here? Probably not. It does have a ludicrous amount of Co-op supermarkets though. 

And London, sitting on the train I filmed a time lapse heading out of the station, I still am intent on putting together a vlog (my computer just autocorrected that word to blog 5 times in a row, maybe it’s a warning) but I haven’t got round to it yet. I was interrupted by the child in the seats next to me, ‘Are you filming that for Youtube?!?’
‘Yes’
‘Are you a Youtuber, how many followers do you have?!?’
‘No, it’s just something i’m sort of trying’
‘Oh, ok, good luck’
**Young child then explains to Father what a Youtuber is**
Is it expected that if you’re coming from Brighton you have to be a Youtuber? If I upload one vlog am I a Youtuber? Anyway, downtrodden that I couldn’t in fact regale the small child with tales of my awesome adventures on Youtube and my millions of devoted fans, I pretty much gave up with the vlogging for the weekend. It’s not as fun as it looks like on Youtube, it’s stressful and makes you feel like a bit of a prick. 

In London we headed to the The Nightmare on Shepherds Bush Road, soaked through from the first downpour of the whole summer but determined to enjoy ourselves. Changed out of our clothes, donned our glitter and headed back out. Now I love Notting Hill Carnival, despite what you hear about stabbings, arrests etc it’s actually so much fun, and what’s not to love when everyone is drunk, dancing and you can take your own alcohol!! They even have portaloos now, a moderate improvement on having to pay a pound to get into a local residents house to use the bog. We danced, we paid a stranger to take a polaroid of us and then after leaving at 7pm, we drunkly took ourselves to Westfields Shopping Centre where we sat in a Bills, chatting shit and wolfing down food. But the thing is, this could’ve been anywhere, we could’ve been anywhere. London didn’t make the fun, we did. 



So what am I getting at here? Well in reality, life isn’t all red velvet cupcakes, designer handbags and brightly coloured in every way. In reality the cast of Made in Chelsea don’t get their weekly shop at Wholefoods and Fortnum and Mason, they actually shop at the Tesco Express in Fulham (Big up to Jamie Laing for making my post work food shop extra weird). Brighton isn’t just the brightly coloured shops of the Lanes it’s actually just like any other seaside town but it just happens to be near London.  And London? Well I used to be in love with London, the place, the people. But now? Well, London makes me blow black dirt into tissues, it makes me wheeze. There’s too many tourists and I feel I have to walk or travel for miles to get to places. So when I was on that train back to Manchester I was excited. Excited for my bed, excited to walk 5 minutes to go on a night out, excited to be able to see all my favourite bands in one place, excited to see the city’s wonderful architecture, excited to go to my favourite restaurants, excited to look across to the pennines from my window in the centre of the city, excited to go home.

So nice to be home, you’d never have known I’d even been away - The Opener, Liam Fray 


Check out my last post here!! 

6 comments:

  1. You really don't like London. I've always been on holidays in London so I love it. This year I've been in January and I had a great time, so much that I'm looking forward to my next trip, most likely next year.
    Notting Hill Carnival sounds fab. I was thinking of attending, but I never plan for it, so I'm never there.

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    1. I lived there for over three years and I think it’s such a different concept to just visiting, I live in Manchester now and I honestly love it 100x more. You should definitely plan a trip to Carnival though.

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  2. I moved back here from London about a year ago, and you're so right! I also love paying under a fiver for a glass of vino!! x www.girlonfilm.co.uk

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    1. I know right!! Never in London could you happily go on a night out with £20, you’d get max 2 drinks out of that haha x

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  3. I'm a born and bred Mancunian and love it here! However , I do like the occasional trip to London for a short break and part of that is that I love the sprawling metropolis! It does make Manchester look like a village! However, I do think Manchester City Centre prices - drinks, food etc are becoming similar to London prices - it's just the cost of living as a whole that's cheaper. I'm next going back in December for a girlie shopping trip.

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    1. What used to draw me to London was the shops and the theatre scene which I think has revolved completely in MCR in the past few years. London definitely does have its plus points but if I had to choose, MCR wins ☺️ I hope you’ll be checking out Carnaby St whilst you’re there!! ☺️

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