It’s nearly over. We still have 2 and a half weeks till we leave England but this is our last weekend in London. After this we’ll be back and forth a few times to sort out our flat but predominately living back with our parents.
After family and friends, London is what I’ll miss the most. I didn’t expect to be this sad about it, especially as we will be back – I’m coming back to my job so while we will probably live in a different area, we can experience all of this again. We can visit our favourite restaurants again, go to the attractions we never managed to go to, so there is no real reason to be sad.
But it’s because this was my dream ever since I was a teenager. My hometown is lovely but I always lusted after London, I wanted to be where everything was happening, didn’t want to feel left out. I could have been setting myself up for a disappointment, after all doesn’t everywhere lose it’s appeal after you have time to notice the flaws?
Honestly though I’ve loved every minute. It is certainly different living here to visiting, because you can see so much more and visit areas you wouldn’t tend to go when you only have a day. I think before I lived here I had only been out of Zone 1 about twice!
These are my highlights from the last 2 years.
Being within walking distance of the heath has been so handy. Countless boozy picnics have been had here, we’d even go straight from work during the summer to take advantage of the late afternoon sun. It’s also a beautiful place for a winter walk, and the view from Parliament Hill is simply stunning. I’ll never get bored of it.
Notting Hill Carnival
Carnival was somewhere I had wanted to go for years but had never been able to. We managed to go both years we were in London and I thoroughly enjoyed it each time. Such a happy friendly atmosphere, great music, incredible food and lots of rum – I’ve only got good memories of it. It gets a really bad reputation of being dangerous but unless you go looking for trouble it’s probably less dangerous than elsewhere in London, purely because of the amount of police around.
We’ve been lucky enough to live just 10 minutes away from Camden on the train or bus, and we’ve taken full advantage. Granted I quickly got bored of the market and immense crowds around the lock, which I had seen many times before but the real joy was in finding some consistently good pubs to drink in and enjoy some live music. I also managed to get to the Camden Crawl in 2012 which was an incredible weekend – must have seen at least 20 bands in almost as many venues. I was devastated that it didn’t happen in 2013.
When I say Hackney I’m referring to the borough, because there have been so many awesome times here. Whether eating street food in Shoreditch, watching awesome bands at Field Day in Victoria Park, enjoying Vietnamese on Kingsland Road, catching a gig in Dalston or visiting the London Fields brewery, I have really come to love this part of the city. It was somewhere I previously associated with being dangerous but quite the opposite. If something is happening, it usually happens around here.
A bit of a cheat this one because people came from all over to enjoy it, not just from London. However I’m still so glad I was living here in summer 2012, the atmosphere and general happiness of everyone was something special. I managed to catch table tennis at Excel, badminton at Wembley and athletics at the Olympic Park. Oh and I got up at 5am to see the torch come through Camden! Its a summer I’ll never forget.