The Cit of London at night

London and I have a complicated relationship. I was born there and whenever I return it feels like coming home. However, deep and enduring though this relationship is, I can’t help feeling that there’s something a bit Sid and Nancy about it; a bit Ruth Ellis and David Blakely: passion and excitement walk hand in hand with stress and claustrophobia.

After six years in Brighton, it freaks me out when I can’t see the sea. Brighton is my safe place: the lover that’s good for me but not nearly as thrilling.

I have reached a crossroads in my life and London’s calling. The allure of the city containing the National Theatre, the Globe and the Royal Opera House is powerful indeed. The nearly three hours a day of commuting is less appealing.

But, oh, the glamour of the South Bank; the grandeur of Westminster; the vibrancy of the West End; the manic energy of the City: this is my home. There’s that stress feeling again. Who the fuck thought that putting so much surging, roiling humanity in one place was a good idea?

The job opportunities are not to be ignored. In my dream line of work, copywriting, the only firms who have looked at me twice are in London. Brighton’s a smug sown up little market place for creative jobs. Boring office jobs abound locally but not the sexy ones. They live in sexy town. My town.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no intention of moving to London. I couldn’t afford it anyway but working there and living in Brighton? Even with the big bastard commute?

I’ve just spent the whole day writing in London. I’m on the train home to Brighton, crossing that beautiful high viaduct outside of Haywards Heath allowing views of rolling hills in every shade of green, and I’m writing again.

London's South Bank

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