Me, I’m a townie. I was born in a town (albeit a small market down lost in the depths of west Wales) and I’ve lived in various bits of London for 12 years now – an alarmingly long time, come to think of it. In that time, I’ve lived in the madness of the middle (off Tottenham Court Road), in Queensway (no matter the time of day or night, there’s a Lebanese restaurant open), holed up in the bunker of the Barbican (love it, but blimey it’s odd) and then out in the wilds of Hackney: the film “Bullet Boy” was shot in the block of flats where I lived. Shot being the operative word. Just to clarify, no, I didn’t live in the posh bit.
And then six years ago, we moved down here, to the edge of London. It’s got a lot going for it: we’re close to Richmond Park, and in that odd fuzzy transition between city and countryside where there’s still shoe shops and decent takeaways that deliver.
But lately, the garden feels like it’s shrunk and the house is almost straining at the seams. This, I’m told, is what happens when you fit a child’s Stuff into a house that was already replete with two adults’ Stuff. And a cat. Anyone who has ever owned a cat will understand that they must always count as a whole extra person when you’re talking about space. They may not strike you as very big, but my god they can take up space when they want to.
We went to see a friend of the Other Half’s today: one who lives waaaay out in the Proper Country. He actually has a ride-on lawnmower, so you know it must be true. There wasn’t a plane to be heard, and suddenly everything London-y seemed so very, very far away. I haven’t worked out yet if that’s a good or a bad thing.
And this leaves me in a very interesting place. I’m just not quite sure where that is.