London......... I will miss you
Ok - finally - my last London post.
I went to London for the first time when I was 16 - I remember it being huge & amazing & overwhelming ... I just loved it!!!
Then I came back - to do a semester abroad for my junior year of University in 1999. We arrived in September and had SUCH a great time studying in such an amazing city. Then on Thanksgiving (Nov 24th, 1999) we went out in Leicester Square. We went to a night club called 'The Zoo Bar' and I met a tall VERY blonde Australian guy named Zac. After I left London in December we kept in touch via email and snail mail (I even got an awesome mix tape from him)! Then he came to see me for a week after visiting Sydney in February 2000 - and that was it. I knew I was in Love with him. We decided from then on to be exclusive.
He came to see me about once a month for the weekend - for over 2 years!!! He went to a million job interviews & tried so hard to move over, but it just didn't happen. So once I finished University I took a visa opportunity I had to come to the UK. My family and friends were totally freaked out that I was moving over 3000 miles away to live with a guy I saw so little of up to then. But I know - he was the one. And you know what - I knew that I could always just buy a plane ticket IF I was wrong. So I packed up two giant suitcases and I was off.
He found us a great flat in Putney and we shared with our friend Richard. London is just SO SO expensive - that we decided that 'flatmates' were the way to go. We had a huge room to ourselves and our own 'ensuite' shower room which was a bonus!
The first year - was tough! I loved him to bits, but I was very lonely for my family and friends, and it was just hard living somewhere where I only had ONE friend - him. But I held on. My first job was at a company in Central London which was nice. Pints at lunch time was a new experience for me!!! But I loved it, and I made some friends, and I slowly got used to all the accents!
I also got into a routine of calling home - whenever I felt like it. It was good to connect with my Mom and Grandma and whoever I felt like chatting to. Murray and I went from strength to strength and we became best friends. We travelled a TON (every bank holiday really - which was at least 4 trips to mainland Europe every year). And we explored our city.
We went to tons of concerts - something we both love to do - and we enjoyed a ton of great venues around London. We saw some amazing Ameican bands in tiny venues including Dave Matthews, Madonna (that was amazing!!!), Beastie Boys, etc etc.
We experienced a TON of the tourist sites.... and we hosted friends & family when they came to see us.
We went to the Men's & Women's finals at Wimbledon.
We made some great friends - friends from around the world and from the UK - and got to know some of our English family much better as well. We also gained an amazing god child, and made friends that we'll have for life.
We fell in Love with the city from the gorgeous parks to the amazing array of restaurants to the historical sites and the great melting pot of different cultures all living in one place.
Gosh I just could go on & on.
I love London.
I lived in London for 5 years and 11 months. I now have a British passport, I met the love of my life in London, and it was the first big city I have ever lived in.
I will miss it terribly. I will miss our friends & family, but I will also miss the little things. I'll miss being able to hop on the tube to go shopping in Covent Garden. I will miss being able to walk through Kensington gardens on a warm summer day. I will miss the cute little tennis courts in Putney. I will miss our Wednesday night movies & Nandos. I will miss our favourite Italian place Il Mascalzone. I will miss picnics with Eva and Abby. I will miss our very special Saturdays getting to know Abby. I will miss our American friends, our South African friends, our work friends, etc. I will miss being able to go to t.v. show tapings for free just for the heck of it. I will miss my reading time on the tube. I will miss the silly trashy gossip magazines. I will miss British tv shows. I will miss South West London places like Richmond in the summer, Putney riverside, Parsons Green and Pimms in the park, etc.
But despite all this my 5 years and 11 months in London will always always have a very special place in my heart. I'm glad I took the risk, and I'm glad I was able to live in such an amazing city.
I will ALWAYS love London