My dearest London,
Our anniversary is coming up. Tell me what would you like sweetheart?
Another Eye? Or a clock tower?
How about another river that flows through you and your many nooks and crannies? As the wise philosopher Heraclitus once proclaimed, one can never step in the same river twice but you and I both know the Thames needs a respite from all who have muddied your waters. I’m sorry if I’ve added to it on many a boat ride I’ve taken to visit your sister, Cutty Sark.
I think we’ve been good to each other. We’ve had our falling out from time to time but show me which couple hasn’t.
You know our relationship is one that fluctuates from love to hate at any given moment in time. This can’t be helped. You can be so cold in your ways always wanting more from me, everytime. You take and take! But I’ll give you this — unlike previous lovers, you’ve not made me any promises. So no promises broken as none were made. And I must admit that in my more contemplative moments I do know you’ve given me a lot, well all that you can at least and for this, I shall always be grateful. We don’t talk about it much but I know that you know only too well that I left my previous lover KL, in the Far East, to be with you. And although there have been moments I’ve longed for my old love I know that I could never leave you. You mean too much for me to walk away. And I hope, in my own small, silly and many clumsy ways I’ve given you something back too?
So let me know my darling what you’d like for our anniversary. It’ll be 13 years soon and what a whirlwind of an affair we’ve had. I quietly look forward to more.
I ask only this — please be good and gentle to me like you know I will, to you.
All my love,
We’re all right mugs, aren’t we? Falling in love with London, I mean. It’s been four years, for me, and we’re still in that mad, infatuated phase when you just can’t get enough of each other. We spend every weekend together, and invitations from bemused friends as far-flung as Milton Keynes..! go politely declined. Hell, even a trip to Zone 3 requires at least four weeks’ notice and a damn good reason. Like a funeral, or some sort of fabulous pop-up restaurant.
And it’s the most high maintenance relationship I’ve ever had; more demanding than the most jealous of lovers and more expensive than even the boyfriend who consistently nicked my moisturiser for two whole years. Caught in a city crammed with cocktail bars, cabaret clubs and Michelin star-spangled restaurants, we Londoners live our lives in a perpetual state of FOMO. It’ll suck you down and spit you back out, empty-pocketed and bag-eyed, but dripping with stories and memories of good times past.
Occasionally, someone breaks free of London’s siren song and heads – literally – for the hills. Hills, or another faraway metropolis, where the price of a roof to call your own falls somewhere within the great bell curve of possibility. The rest of us, content to spend our years gleefully hurling tens of thousands of pounds into that yawning black chasm called Rent, wish them well, and carry on.
Like I said, we’re all mugs. It’s crazy the things we do, isn’t it, when we’re in love?’
Read more of Emily’s musings at curious-london.co.uk
London, I love you but you’re bringing me down.
Yes we’ve had a good time and despite an age gap of almost 2000 years we managed to forge a strong, meaningful relationship with each other. I’ve been with you since day one. You taught me everything to know about living in a city. You spoiled me to the point that to even consider living anywhere else would seem like a death to me.
We’ve had the best time. We wandered the dirty streets together, got drunk together in smoky pubs, danced in the dingiest of holes together. Now those streets have been cleaned up, half of those pubs are closed and the dingy holes that we once left with ruined trainers and stinking of sweat are all turning into luxury apartments.
This new crowd that you’re running with are obsessed with only one thing and that’s money. They’re not your real friends, they’re only interested in what you can do for them. They don’t love you like I love you.
London, in the words of Ice Cube…”You better check yo’self before you wreck yo’self”