I've lived in London for the past fourteen years. Starting off in a ropey old flat in West Hampstead (okay, okay, Kilburn borders) above a pub on Tower Bridge approach, above another pub in Marble Arch. I sub-let a grubby flat from a drug-dealer in Shepherds Bush and then lived opposite a recording studio also in the Bush. Then when it came to buy my budget brought me to zone 3 and the lush delights of Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace and finally, glamorous* West Norwood.
I loved living in London. Yes, it can be gritty, smelly and the chances of being verbally abused by drunk old ladies on the bus rate higher than say, Surrey. But I loved the fact I could hop on a train, bus or tube and be in the West End rummaging in golf sales within half an hour. But despite everything our glorious capital offers, I've always longed for the seaside. So after five long years of badgering Mr Dolly to make the move, last November we finally packed up three kids, grabbed our bucket and spades and sped down the M23 for the very last time.
*said ironically, obviously.