Monday, June 23, 2008

Maybe It's Because I'm A (South) Londoner

Well, possibly. I don't "love London so", but I do actually enjoy living here. Which seems to be unusual insomuch as you see so many people on TV doing the 'escape to the country' bit. Plus the general complaints about it being over-crowded, noisy, smelly and hideously expensive, obviously. But it is a quite special place.

If it wasn't located in England it would be splendid.

I've just got back from Newcastle, and while I do have a special place in my heart for the Great North (having being born and bred there) it is very *very* quiet up there. I don't think I could live there now, as I'd constantly be thinking that there'd been some kind of plague and everyone had died. Even apparently busy shopping centres are incredibly quiet.

It's like the people of the North don't like sharing their business and everyday lives with all and sundry like the people of London seem wont to do. No shouting, no yelling into a mobile phone, no playing music on a mobile on the tinny speaker. Nothing, but a hushed whisper. Quite delightful, but spooky. Like suddenly being transported into the Victorian era and discovering people used to be polite to each other.

Don't get me wrong, the people of the North are friendly. Just not pushy. If you engage one in conversation, they can - and will - chat with you for hours about whatever it is that you ask them about. Like London cabbies, but with more opportunity for interaction and less right wing politically.

Unless you happen to get them onto the subject of immigration.

Despite having a lower population of immigrants than pretty much anywhere else I've been in the country (as well as a long established - and fully assimilated - Chinese and Indian community) it seems as if every Geordie I've spoken to thinks there should be less immigration. And while the Great North is far less densely populated than a lot of other places (North Tyneside has a population roughly the same as Enfield borough) they think that the UK is full.

Perhaps it's a Northern thing: worrying about problems that don't affect you directly. Or perhaps it's a media thing; the national news pushing London based stories as being somehow representative of the whole country.

Whatever it is, I do find it slightly peculiar.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of the village where I grew up (Bournmoor in Co. Durham). There were more BNP skinheads than there were visible immigrants. Most peculiar.

Blogger silas said...

From B3ta, handily timed:

"London, it is so over between us. You used to be exotic and alluring, with the bright lights, clubs and concerts. Then I got to know you a bit better, and realised that it wasn't always this good. Since then, our relationship has been going downhill; I'm struggling to remember the good times, and only seem able to focus on the crime, local chav community, awful pollution and traffic, and sheer expense of being with you.

My house has been broken into, my computer stolen, my friends attacked, my bank account raped and my health damaged.

I'll probably regret what I'm doing a bit, and miss you at first, but I'm utterly convinced that in the long run, this is the right course to take.

I'm sorry to put you through this, but you'll be alright. You'll cope without me; you always have. Some new girl will come along with the joy of moving to the big city in her eyes, and you'll have good times with her instead of me. Honestly, I don't mind.

I think I've always known that things were a bit wrong, but this feeling of discontent has been growing within me for quite a long time. I think it all came to a head this week, when some spotty little oik tried to steal my bike from Victoria Station (and do Network Rail give a toss? Do they my arse), I developed a heinous mouth/throat infection due to cycling in traffic fumes every day, and I saw the crazy Kennington man this afternoon, sitting outside of the cafe with his cock hanging out.

To be honest though, these are all small things. Insignificant compared to the most important reason we can't be together any more. Some mouth-breathing insanity-mongers elected Boris Johnson as Mayor. I can't live with people who think like that. Really I can't.

London, as of now, I am looking for somewhere new to live. We'll see each other again, I have no doubt. But just as friends, for gigs and museums and stuff (you always did get amazing line-ups at gigs). But as we are now, we're finished.



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