A post about London.

29 January 2013

Last year I wrote a post for Samantha about living in London. I never posted it here but as I really enjoyed writing it and the fact I have gushed about London so much lately it seems rather appropriate to share it with you guys. Hope you enjoy :)
Here I am looking all tanned and summery. Damn the British winter...
London. My little home.
As you can probably tell by the name of my blog I live in a little spot south of the river called Balham...and here it is on a tube map just so you know exactly where it is;
I have lived in Balham for four years now and this part of the city has well and truly stolen my heart. I became a woman here, I made some amazing friends here, I even found love here and these past few years have just been the best time of my life. What is weird about this place though is how it has changed me as a person. How it has changed the way I think, the way I react to things, the way I see the world...and here is why I think London is a little slice of crazy..

I am NEVER shocked by what people are wearing now. Like EVER. Case and point...these two were wearing these outfits out and about on a Saturday afternoon at Borough Market. Yes I looked twice and yes I took a picture. But I didn't think it was unusual. brave? yes. unusual? no.
I can walk/text/read a book and navigate the busy streets of London without even glancing up. It is quite a skill you know. And one that you learn VERY QUICKLY out of necessity.

My patience for public transport doesn’t exist anymore. If I have to wait more than 3 minutes for a tube this is UNACCEPTABLE. I pay god knows how much for a monthly tube pass and waiting longer than that simply sends me over the edge.
I have even less patience for people who get to the barrier at the tube exit and haven’t got their oyster card out ready. YOU KNOW YOU ARE GOING TO NEED IT SO GET IT READY BEFOREHAND.
(commuter rage)

Londoners sure know how to drink and we very much get to the point when we do it. After work drinks usually don't include food so I usually prepare beforehand to minimise the possibility of a late night McDonald's trip. No-one likes to be the drunk hungry girl swaying whilst ordering a happy meal.
(There I am drinking sangria out of a plastic cup. Gotta keep the classy/trashy balance somewhere.)

I experience weather in an entirely different way in London. Summer is too hot, winter too cold, autumn represents the loss of summer and spring the hope of summer. Disappointment flies around like a plague and is inescapable in London. The poor weather over here just can’t win.
I never in a million years thought that my sense of personal space would fly out the window so completely and utterly by simply commuting in London. The quickest way to acquaint yourself with true ‘London living’ is to take the Northern line at 8am in the morning. It's an exquisite human version of Tetris, and I promise you will never see or experience anything like it.
Sometimes on a Saturday afternoon it feels like I live deep in the suburbs. Away from all the hustle bustle of the city. We have cute food markets in school playgrounds, quaint coffee shops filled to the brim with vintage crap, a green leafy common nearby and you literally cannot move in Starbucks for prams. What I forget is that the city is only a 15minute train ride away.
I find myself completely and utterly freaked out when I go on holiday, or stay in the country for a few nights and there is no background noise. The sirens and the trains and the drunken people wandering around and shouting profanities strangely comfort me. I find it very difficult to sleep when it is completely silent now.
Me and my friends can go on a girls night out and always get home safe and sound. None of us drive cars in London – there is no point at all and we always rely on the tube or a bus or a cab.

And for the final point I would say how beautiful I think this city is. When I am out and about at the weekend exploring I am constantly thankful that I get to live here. The architecture, the history, the crazy people, the buzz of the place... it is all magical and if you do ever get a chance to come and visit I promise you will love it.


  1. Ah this is lovely. I love living in London. I love Balham too, we looked at a lot of flats there but ended up in West London.

  2. Yes! Over 3 minutes for a tube is SICK AND WRONG (which is why I hate getting the circle line.)

  3. This is such a lovely post! I adore living in London, call me a city girl but I wouldn't change it for anything.

  4. Loved this post, it really made me smile, I can really relate to it. I'm heading to the fabric and craft superstore on Saturday and am looking forward to exploring Balham.

  5. You look so happy and at peace in that first picture - I love it.

    I'm on the next flight...can't wait to drink sangria out of plastic cups with you :)

    BTW - loving the changes on the blog!

  6. Gorgeous post! I used to live just in C'lam and spent my fair share of mornings in Bertie & Boo eating far too many (gorgeous) cupcakes.

    Even after 4 years living here I still find it hard to call myself a Londoner...but then realise if I've lived here long enough to be annoyed by tourists standing on the left on the tube escalator, that's a starting point!

  7. Ahh loved this post! I live in Clapham and love it xx

  8. UGHHH I just commented and it didn't show up. So here we go again: This post is awesome, and I am so jealous you live in London. It looks amazing! And I will be on that flight with Alissa, and I expect a plastic cup full of sangria when I get there.

  9. Awwwww Nicola! You make me feel so so homesick, I actually shed a tear. CAN'T WAIT TO BE BACK!I'll say one thing though - no air con in the tube during summer month is simply unacceptable. And I don't miss the Northern Line during peak hours. Oh no!

  10. oh my I used to get the various tubes into oxford circus every morning when i studied there. it was appalling. people lose all sense of decency during rush hour. thank goodness I (generally) travel off peak now as my working hours are slightly bizarre. i love the last couple of photos they are so pretty

  11. I love this post! I do love London, I always get so excited when I go day tripping! Its about 2 hours away from me so Its always a treat!xx

  12. Yah, thanks for the shout out! And I love that first pic of you :) so pretty!

  13. These are such lovely photos! I WISH I went to uni in London :) great post! I love your blog haha x

  14. I 100% agree on how annoying it is when people don't have their Oyster ready. Come on people it's not a shock or a surprise, you knew the bearrier was coming. It didn't jump out and surprise you. I often have to pinch myself that I'm living in London, it truly is a beautiful city.

  15. Ahhh this post has made me homesick. Once London gets into your veins it is there for life.

  16. I loved reading this post. I've never really spent much time in London before, apart from the odd school/college trip - I've lost count of the number of times out art class went to the Tate Modern. Clearly my teachers weren't very creative with their trip ideas!

    I get kind of overwhelmed thinking about how many people there are in London all the time - the tube kind of scares me if I'm honest!

    Jennie xo |

  17. i love london too especially its beauty, it is so pretty.

    and i used to live just down the road in the nightingale triangle--we could have seen each other and never realised it--spooky.

    and the northern line at rush hour--what a beast. even if the summer weather is rubbish you feel you are in some humid climate riding the underground ;)

  18. I love London to the point where it's borderline obsessive. This post made me want to go even more! xxx

  19. So wonderful :-) London is a place we are DYING to visit. I really wonder what life would be like without a car in California...


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