I’m back in London for two weeks while we pack up for the Big Move.
I’ve been thinking about what I’ll miss about London… as well as some of the stuff I’ll be glad to leave behind.
I will miss:
My friends. I’ve got friends here that I’ve known longer than I’ve been in London (7 years) – people I was mates with in Sydney who also moved over here, and it’s really strengthened our friendships and made us close. I’ve also got newer friends, not least the group of mums I met through NCT classes, who I’ve spent time with pretty much every week for the past three years.
My house. We’ve transformed this place from a West Indian grandma’s cozy nest — complete with crimson carpets, stripy wallpaper, 80s kitchen and frosted glass and/or net curtains on every window — to a sleek, calm, modern place (but still cozy I hope) with a perfect-for-us kitchen and lovely light all hours of the day.
Working. I’ve quit my job at visitlondon.com to move to Switzerland. I miss it already – I miss being able to go somewhere I’m known just as Claire (not as someone’s wife, mother, friend, family member etc) and I miss doing work that means I am accepted and appreciated for my skills, ability and experience.
English. I love words, I love the English language. I am really excited about learning German but it will be very strange not to hear my native tongue spoken and see it written as a matter of course. All the crazy permutations of English – the way the London schoolkids on the bus use words, hearing it evolve around me. Reading bad signage and laughing at the mistakes and funny turns of phrase caused by those who aren’t as expert as me. Now I’ll be the one wrangling and mangling words and I’m pretty sure Schweizerdeutsch is not nearly so flexible as the language I’ve always known.
Cheap stuff. And knowing where to get it. They say London is expensive. But it’s not, compared to Switzerland. At least, not round here, in the grungy area of North London I reside. Food and groceries are cheaper. Clothes are cheaper, furniture, homewares, etc. etc. It’s not just that though, it’s…
The familiarity of crap. There’s plenty of crap here. But at least it’s familiar crap. My crap, I could say. Although a lot of it is actually other people’s dog’s crap and disgusting chicken bones on the footpath which I lay absolutely NO claim to! But, like the aforementioned cheap stuff, at least I know what stuff is, where to get it, how to avoid it, etc. Oh you know what I mean.
Nails. I’ve been getting my nails done with acrylic overlays for the past five (!) years. I’m going to have to give them up because it costs CHF60 (£40) in Zurich, compared to £15 here. I will miss the silly nail art I’ve been rocking (Facebook friends can see my nail art pictures here) and I’m afraid it will mean I start biting them again to boot : (
This has turned into rather a long entry. I’ll have to tell you about the stuff I won’t miss in another post!