Over the past couple of years we have been thinking about moving back to Germany, and this is still on the table (although likely not for the next couple of years or so). We might have been heard grumbling about London’s public transport (squeezing into over-crowded underground or overground trains, stuck under the next person’s arm pit, or not making it onto a couple of trains at all as people are already squeezed like sardines is not really my idea of a relaxed journey to work – I am getting my bike fixed to forego this pleasure in future…), the extortionate rent prices, single glazed windows (v. loud under flightpaths which basically means throughout most of South West London, cold in the winter, hot in the summer), poor health services (I know there must be some good doctors and well-run surgeries out there, I have just not been able to find them!!!), etc, etc. The horrendous riots last week made us think again about why we live here.
However, let it be said: there are many things we really love about London! Here are some of them:
The varied cultural life – concerts of all styles of music pretty much any day. Last term M and I took part in a weekly Gamelan beginners’ course at the Southbank Centre / Royal Festival Hall – loved it! Likewise a visit to the Globe Theatre to see Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, and some brilliant concert and opera visits.
Great food – you can find really good produce (you have to look for it at times) from all over the world, as well as fantastic restaurants (again you have to look for the right ones).
Helpful people – there are not that many places I have come across, where community members make tea for police officers on patrol. Also, I distinctly remember a very kind BA employee going around offering minced pies and chocolates to the poor people stuck at Heathrow airport due to the bad weather last Christmas. Very friendly policemen when we lived in Wandsworth – Frank with a booming voice who used to walk by our house and stay for a chat if one of us happend to look out of the window in the morning, equally David, who used to chat to M in passing. There is a beautiful spirit if you know where to look.
Gorgeous walks along the Thames river
Lovely people we have met here (knitters, you know who you are!!!)
The fact that you can get almost anything at any point in time (our little corner shop is open until 11pm every day)
Streetcar – we don’t have to own a car in order to be able to drive home the heavy shopping every once in a while
These are just a few of the things we love. If you live in London, what are your favourite things about the city?