London, I miss you

London skyline

I’ve felt a little restless in the last few days, a feeling I’ve been battling with fairly frequently in lockdown. I knew what was needed to help, the same thing that always helps. I put my trainers on and prepared myself for a long run.

I decided to run through central London to change up the usual route and it brought me both happiness and sadness all at once. I could feel myself actually smiling running around what used to be the roads I would walk every single day. But, it also felt as if I was grieving an old life, similar to how it feels relieving memories of a past relationship.

As I ran through the quiet streets of soho, I started thinking about all the things I miss about the normality of living and working in London.

Empty streets of Soho

I would even trade a crowded walk down Oxford Street and waiting 20 mins for an uber that says that it’s 2 mins away for just a few of these things right now …

  • Drinking a £7 gin and tonic on the street corner outside an overflowing pub. Because even when you can’t actually get inside, it’s still the best place to be drinking an overpriced drink
  • The absolute joy of bumping into someone you know. Because there’s over 8 million people living in London and really what are the chances(?!)
  • The river. Just because, the river
  • Boojee Friday lunches: fried chicken from On The Bab, banh mi from (surprisingly) Banh Mi Bay, everything from soho street food market, Byron burgers and poke bowls
  • Knowing that no one ever “stays for one” when it’s a sunny Thursday
  • Rooftop bars 
  • Timeout Tuesdays 
  • Searching for “somewhere good where we can dance” at 1am on a school night – yes there really is always somewhere…
  • The tube. Ok, so maybe not everything about the tube (the Bakerloo line in the heat of summer I’m looking at you). But, the general rule of thumb that everything takes 40 mins to get to is (usually) true, because of that brilliant little system
  • Discovering a new bar and declaring it your “new favourite” and then never actually returning again. Because there’s hundreds of other bars out there just waiting to be your new favourite
  • Simmons happy hour. Seriously, how is it that cheap? 
  • Exhibitions that are only around for a week, discovering new music, random theatre trips and unplanned comedy nights (see why Time Out Tuesdays are so important)

These are some of the reasons that I’m so happy to call London my home. With the uncertainty of things right now, some are packing up and retreating out of the city. But many of us are still here. And whether it takes a few months or a few years, I’ll be here helping my city rebuild to its former glory.

London, I really miss you and I promise never to take you for granted ever again (apart from maybe when waiting 20 mins for an uber that still says it’s 2 mins away).

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