Thursday, 19 July 2012

"London is really only for the young or the rich".

Todays food/liquid consumption = 1.5 small bottles of Coke (Full Fat, not even Diet), 1 x Nescafe, 1 x Crunchie, 1/2 a Dominos Vegetarian Pizza with Ham. One may find this hard to believe but I did actually eat quite well at the weekend for the first time in a long time. On Sunday, we met our friend Mole for breakfast (hot chocolate and pancakes with maple syrup) then went to our friend Daniels for dinner who cooked us a delicious homemade lasagne with home grown salad and brownies (not served on the same plate obviously). The baby has received lots of wonderful presents but I think my favourite present of all was the homemade lasagne. Don't judge me. Its lovely for the baby to receive gifts of course but one must never underestimate the value to new parents of a delicious dinner cooked by an old friend at times like these. Such a thoughtful thing to do and I think, when my pregnant friends give birth I shall endeavour to do the same thing. Although the other half of my pizza with an instant coffee chaser might not have the same effect.

It's a good job I have embraced the outside world as there always seems to be some chore or other these days that involves me leaving the flat. I have no idea how my career as a hermit lasted as long as it did. Yesterday, I had the unenviable task of renewing our residents parking permit. I had tried to do it online which apparently would have saved me a whole £10 (a lot of money when you have no job) but good old Hackney buggered up the on line option. So I bundled baby in his buggy and took a trip in the rain to the most depressing place in the galaxy - the Hackney Parking "Services" Office. I have never had the luxury of a job with official lunch breaks, but the staff at the Council don't have to suffer such hardships. Naturally, at the moment of my arrival 6 of the 10 cashiers, pulled down their blinds and chipped off for lunch. Hackney, home of the Olympics. Good luck when the world arrives next week to witness the chaos for themselves.

My permit expired the following day so I had no choice but to take a number from the ticket machine and wait in line. The counter was at 4997 when I arrived and my ticket was 5132. This would have been a painful trip had I been on my own but with baby in tow, the wait became like a heart racing game of Baby Roulette. Would I manage to get my new permit before he woke up for his next feed? The tension was almost unbearable! The wait was not helped by a Quaver scoffing toddler in a pram next to me who decided to scream his face off at around number 5087 but luckily my frantic pushing backwards and forwards of the buggy fooled baby into thinking he was somewhere far more exciting than the parking office. And he stayed asleep. And 2 hours later I left with my permit and baby was still asleep. Yay! Adult 1 Baby 0. And I felt happy at this tiny triumph but as I turned the corner I saw a woman letting her kid piss up the tree outside my front door. And felt tense again. So tense in fact the search for a place to live outside of London has been ramped up to top speed on the 'Place-to-live-outside-of-London-Ometer'. I've had it with London. It's officially official. Who lets their kid piss up a tree in a busy street in broad daylight and doesn't even acknowledge the person who lives by the tree? London stinks. Literally.

I was so happy when the tree was planted in 2009 I left a thank you note to whoever planted it. Manners. Don't cost a thing.

My friend remarked the other day that London is only really for the young or the rich and since I am neither I should take the hint, pack up my troubles in my old kit bag and buzz off out of the capital. I've been here for 16 years now (christ!) which is quite long enough thank you very much. Pretty much everything in London stresses me out these days. The wee-ing children, the Quaver scoffing purple faced toddlers, the inefficient council, people that let their dogs poo on my road and don't clean it up, the pot hole riddled pavements, noise, the ratty foxes that have moved back into the garden. I could go on.

During the last 16 years, I have lived in the following places:

1. Stoke Newington -  I lived here with my best friend when I first moved to London. The house was usually full of Goth's (my friend wore a lot of black a the time) and the weird /perverted next door neighbour used to listen to our conversations, among other things, through the air vents on the walls and then comment to us the next day about what he had heard. Creepy.

2. Hackney - The same road I live on now. I lived here in a rented flat with my ex-boyfriend, Disco. The flat was a dump then he dumped me to go to Australia and broke my heart. It's ok, it was 13 years ago I'm over it now.

3. Stoke Newington (again) - After the heartbreak I soon realised I was not only a boyfriend down but also had to find somewhere else to live. I 'temporarily' moved into my friends cousins fancy house in N16. He was rarely there, he had a cleaner once a week, I loved it and stayed there far too long. So long in fact he got married, had a baby and I could still be found shuffling about in the spare room.

4. Hackney (again) - I rented a room in a huge house with a total stranger. I would not recommend this. On the first morning the bailiffs turned up on the doorstep regarding her 'alleged' unpaid council tax. I lasted 3 months.

5. Shoreditch - Brilliant. It was very different to how it is now, not at all touristy and actually very quiet. I lived here with another ex-boyfriend, the Baboon. There was no bath but it was a great party flat. You win some, you lose some.

6. Clapton - My first property purchase with the Baboon. Total disaster. Lovely property, awful Russian neighbours. They attacked us, my boyfriend and I split up, Clapton will always be a grot hole in my eyes no matter how many coffee shops open along the Chatsworth Road. Sorry, but some memories will never fade.

7. London Fields - I stayed with my friend in her flat for 3 months. The summer of '06, a great summer. The single life, sunny evenings, vats of white wine, I bought my first car after not having driven since I was 17 and then I bought my flat. Two words summed me up that summer:Bridget Jones.


Me any my beautiful Nissan Pao. God, I loved that car.

It was also the year I met the Wig.

8. Hackney (again) - My flat, where I am now. But not still in the box.

So, I've definitely done my time, although to be fair I have only been East side. It's certainly changed a lot over the years but not enough for me to want to stay here any longer. Life is not just about me anymore and I think the responsible thing to do is move somewhere a bit less hectic/rude/smelly/TB riddled. Also I don't think the baby will appreciate sharing his parents bedroom for too much longer. Who wants bunk beds with their parents?


  1. What a fab car! I only ever lived South of the river, but when we left I felt it was time. It's still quite a novelty to revisit as a tourist! :)

  2. Dearest truzdrum

    I love your post: writing style content et al. I'm with you. We moved out of queens park last year due to drug addled single mum of two Neigjbour who played her music at 2am and encouraged her 2 feral fruits of her Loins To bang on the Walls of our boys room to wake him up. We then found at we had rats under the floorboards and, if you dug down a bit further the high speed rail line to birmingham was going to join them. We bailed. To zone 5 near the river and it's the best thing we ever did. London was all about spontaneity and, once the ankle biters arrive that goes out the window. Or, at least, it does if you wanna spend time with them and put them first. Which we did. I reckon you will love it. Little man looks amazing btw. Well done Betty. Luv falsebeard.