On The Whole ‘London’ Thing, Which Probably Seems Quite Sudden But Was In Fact A Very Considered Decision

I don’t remember whether I already wrote about why exactly I came to London, or how. I like these diaries to have some narrative sense to them but I often worry they don’t, because I write them so sporadically and unevenly. So – here’s the abridged version of the whole London thing, for the sake of clarity.

July 2023

  • Decide on living in England rather than abroad because A) no visa issues B) no language issues C) close to family D) skint.
  • Consider Sheffield, Manchester, Bristol, Leeds. Settle on London because more jobs, more things to do, access to Europe. Fear factor: last time (London 2021) was bad. Courage and optimism required.
  • Start looking for flatshares. Crazy expensive rents for tiny box rooms with strangers. London suddenly uncertain. Fear factor boiling over.

August 2023

  • Visit London friends for a festival. Drunkenly fantasise about all living together in one big house. Laugh it off as merely a nice dream.

September 2023

  • On a whim browse RightMove for full houses, rather than searching for spare rooms in existing flatshares. Discover that, for the same money, with a full house split between friends you can get something comparatively palatial.
  • Message London friends and show them a few places. They get excited, I get excited. Decide to give it a go.
  • Five of us unite: Me, Sam (one of my oldest friends), Laura (Sam’s girlfriend), Sarah Rose (Laura’s best friend) and Mike (Sam and Laura’s old colleague). All of them have flats they can leave with one month’s notice.
  • Sam and Laura go to view one property. Not ten, or five: one. It is beautiful; they send photos to our newly established Whatsapp group. They say: fuck it, shall we put in an offer? We say: yes.
  • The unthinkable happens: our offer is accepted – immediately. There’s a ton of paperwork to get through, but it’s done: we have our own castle, in London, and we only viewed one place. That’s unheard of. Insanely lucky.

November 2023

  • Moving day. I move out of my mum and stepdad’s house after ten quiet months, and take a train to the Big Smoke.
  • See the house for the first time in-person. It’s beautiful and right beside a huge park.
  • Assemble bed. Begin decorating my room: a personal fantasy.
  • Begin living frugally, so as not to immediately spunk entirety of savings. Slow induction to London: no glamour, just Lidl shops and quiet weekends filled with free activities.
  • Curious as to what the future may hold. Waves of fear and optimism.

And that, more or less, brings us up to the present. Now I can move on to writing about all the other stuff that’s been booting around my head recently. But I’ll do that another day, because today I have a lot of free time (no students booked lessons, boo, I am poor) which I intend to spend chiefly on reading and applying for jobs. And editing my novel. And doing a big food shop. And working out?

Lord, there are never enough hours in the day.

(Oh by the way I can juggle now. GET IN.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *