love letter to london, #3


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

love letter to london, #2


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”

Love, always

love letter to london, #1


Love is in air this week.

It’s unmistakable. You can smell it in the air along with the smog and a host of other stuff!

Timeout (a free magazine in London often read by tube commuters) is running a series of love letters written by its readers and today is letter #1 from Gentle Author.


London my love,

I loved you from the first moment I saw you and I can never forget how beautiful you were then. Over all these years, as I have got to know you closely and we shared a life together, I grew to believe that you belonged to me.

Yet you have changed – and sometimes now I feel you are being taken away from me but my love for you has never wavered even if, when I no longer recognise you, it fills me with grief.

Looking at old pictures of you, I realise you have always been changing and I was infatuated when I believed you belonged to me, because I thought foolishly that I had discovered you for my own.

You are a whore, but I cannot blame you for seducing me – because I wanted to be seduced!

Knowing I am one of countless thousands that have been seduced by you does not lessen my affection for you. If I am possessive, it is because I want to protect you from those that would exploit you. You have been through a lot – things that have formed you and things that have damaged you, but they are part of who you are and I cherish it all.

My old love, please have the courage to resist those who tell you need facelifts and want to tart you up with expensive trinkets. They want to pimp you out and put your prices up, so you will be only for the rich. Then you will have to turn people away, when you have always welcomed all comers, including me – and that is what I love about you.

TGA xxx