You often hear people say, ‘I like London, but I wouldn’t want to live there. When I quiz people on this, they normally state something along the lines of ‘Oh it’s just so busy all the time!’ or ‘People are always in a rush.’ I always find this a bit odd. The centre of London is busy, of course, and yes, people do seem to be in a rush, but I’m assuming most London dwellers don’t actually choose to live slap bang in the middle of Piccadilly Circus?!
Having lived in London a couple of times in the past, I can safely say that London is a fantastic place to live. Sure, it has it’s problems like any city, but I’ve genuinely never lived anywhere quite so buzzing with life. I loved the fact that nothing seemed to close – you could get a cup of tea or a dinner at 2am after work and then get the bus home. I loved how pretty it looked at night. I loved that you could literally get every kind of food possible if you knew where to look. The best thing about London though, is that there is always something going on. I loved just hopping on a train into the city and taking a stroll down the South Bank to see what fun I could find and I was never disappointed, whether it was a pop up Vintage sale or a free photography exhibition.
The reason we headed down to London last week was actually to catch a show, The Book of Mormon (which is FANTASTIC, by the way, if you have a slightly twisted sense of humour like me) but as usual London pulled it out of the bag and we discovered it was also hosting Lumiere London 2016, a light festival where various artists displayed huge light installations in iconic parts of the city. It was a strange feeling, joining thousands of other visitors milling around on major roads such as Oxford or Regent Street, all of which had been closed to traffic. The installations were amazing and it really gave you a sense of ‘belonging’ as you wandered through the crowds. We were even lucky enough to be invited up to get a behind the scenes glimpse of the installation at Bafta House thanks to a connection with one of the crew! My particular favourites were Tae Gon Kim’s ‘Dresses’ – ghostly colour-changing dresses hung in store windows such as Liberty’s, and Porte par le Vent’s ‘Lumineoles’ – huge LED lanterns shaped like fish, which danced on the breeze just like the real thing. The whole thing was magical, and I feel so fortunate to have gotten to see it and be a part of it, even if it wasn’t originally part of our plans.
So give London a chance, people, she will be so kind to you if you let her!