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This is the first ever blog post I wrote, dug out from a dormant (oh ok then, dead and buried) blog which was started when I first moved to London. I’ve been here nearly 2 years now, and I recently realised I’ve become the begrudging Londoner I hoped never to be.

Reading this helped to remind me of the joyful/idiotic optimism I once had:

After years of waiting, I am no longer a virgin. Aged 23 and three-quarters. Stop your sniggering. I don’t mean of the ‘sexually-challenged-late-to-achieve-puberty-nervous-wreck-when-I-talk-to-boys’ sort, or even the ‘greater-entity-worshipping-bible-abiding-unsuprisingly-young-to-wed’ type. Rather, a ‘commute-to-work-on-the-tube-with-a-generic-morning-paper-and-a-generic-brand-polystyrene-cup-of-coffee’ virgin, which thankfully justifies the fact that my deflowering occurred fully clothed at 8am in a crowded public place. Yes, as you quite possibly already suspect, I am one of those annoying “Yeah, like, I totally live in Laaaaandan, and I’m just so TRENDY with my Oyster card and….OH EM GEE! There’s Big Ben!” big smoke newbies. I’m sure you all know one. They’re the type of irritating people who say ‘big smoke’.          

If you’re a London native you may be reading this with a smug, eyebrow-raised, Jafar-like (yes, he of Aladdin fame) smirk on your face. Firstly, wipe it off – you look daft. Secondly, you should be incredibly jealous of my (albeit naive) sunny outlook on city life. ‘Why? You incredulous fool!’, I hear you guffaw. Well, it basically boils down to this: I actually ENJOY the commute. I take mildly sadistic pleasure in playing tug’o’war with elderly ladies for the last Metro (FYI, other reading materials are available of an A.M), successfully swiping my Oyster through the barrier (on the fourth attempt. No, I do not want to seek assistance, but thanks for asking so LOUDLY and ANGRILY), legging it towards the incessant chirping of a closing tube door and throwing myself whole-heartedly into the armpit of a middle-aged IT worker with a phobia of Imperial Leather. Ooooh tingles.

After emerging from the depths of the tube station (being sure to keep to the left, to the left, for fear of an excruciating and untimely death) and shielding my eyes from the blazing su….. No no, silly me. Wrong country…shielding my eyes as the wind blows grit horizontally along the pavement, I stop and watch as my fellow tubers scuttle off to work, clouded in a mist of oblivion. I, however, am still SO unashamedly goddamn excited about living and working in London that every sight offers up pure, unadulterated photoreceptor joy.

I got a bit giddy the other day as I walked along the side of the Thames, and took some perspective on It All. Zooming out to the bigger picture every now and again is a pretty healthy thing to do (not clinically proven but I’m going with it). It suddenly makes all the stupid stresses over soggy ballet pumps and weather-induced frizz evaporate. And I’m grateful for the fact that this incredible city still allows me this delight, and I haven’t yet been worn down into a desensitised drone. No offence.

So I implore you, as you navigate your way through underground tunnels with unseeing eyes and weave through the masses with the trained agility of a ninja, take ONE SECOND out of your determined, unblinkered scurry towards the nearest Starbucks and just STOP. 

Please.

And take It All in.

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