I love London part 1

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Welcome to part one of a series I’ll sporadically/never update due to my ability to – and I think this could be cute but is probably annoying – forget most things. Today I went to Chesham high street to give my beloved some vouchers he wanted to use. I arrived at Sainsbury’s without any vouchers and at that point clocked that my little journey to town was pointless, but it was a nice day so somehow it was all ok. I do that a lot. Maybe I should be a forgetful but brilliant scholar who has the ability to shamble in a room to amaze people. I have many skills to work on.

The point I intended to make at the opening is uh, about towns. I am moving to London next week, but in a way, I’m just moving to a town connected to another town. A thought that came to me today was that you can live in London or live in London, where you try and take advantage of the city and what it has to offer, rather than complaining about everything but at the same time mocking the idea that anyone would go to Zone 5 let alone leave the M25. For me, I can see the benefits of moving to London are enormous but I will fight the urges to become a Londoner who is as provincial as those they mock:

  • Zone 9 is lovely and green and the air is fresh. Spending an hour on a train is boring. Zone 3 takes me to Oxford Circus in 22 minutes.
  • Transport links in Zone 3 are (compared to anywhere I’ve ever lived) sensational. I can go to Victoria and take off somewhere. I can even use my local train station and head to Essex or the seaside without breaking a sweat.
  • I love galleries and exhibitions, and I’ll be much closer to them.
  • Night-buses! Actual buses that run all night! I can go and see my friends, many of whom live within 5 miles of my new home by bus, too!

Of course there are loads of annoying aspects of London but when the title of the post is “Bloody London: Part 257” I’ll be banging on about them ad nauseum. For now I am super excited about the new changes ahead. One is trying to go to new things – that’s what I mean about living/living in London; I could have easily have gone to the V&A yesterday and been totally content, but I do that plenty already so in the coming months I’ll be cracking out the Time Out app, going with friends’ recommendations and using Twitter to find exciting new things to do. Yesterday I visited the Mr Brainwash exhibition near Holborn to check out his giant murals on the outide of the Old Sorting Office and the extensive artworks inside.

It was a stark reminder of how lucky, how very very lucky we are to have free access to so much art and cultureĀ  when I recall the 4-hour window of free entry to MoMa in New York. MoMa was absolutely brilliant, but for $15, I’d have thought twice, paid and wept. The exhibition was a heady mix of spray-paint, vinyl artworks and giant statues made of stuff like car tyres. There was a nice nod to his film “Exit through the gift shop” where you were allowed to take two large posters, three postcards and a free drink on the way out. The cost of that exhibition must have been enormous but he can command up to $80,000 for a piece of work, so it’s all a totally glorious advert. I’m fine with that. We’re all fine with that.

After, I headed to a Mexican place for a taco – London now has more Mexican places than Mexicans, surely? It was as you’d expect, yummy. Headed off to The Photographer’s Gallery off Oxford Street and checked out the Deutsche Borse prize nominess and a selection of Japanese photobooks. For the photobooks exhibition you had to put on gloves, which on contact with the glossy paper make a noise that is as scary to me as the noise of balloons being touched. Ughhh. Yet again, it was free!So, my first lesson from the sporadic/one-off I Love London series is that good times can be had for free and also, people are still somewhat lovely on the Tube. A woman waved at me to check I knew I’d left my phone on a chair. Lovely.


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