Reading my copy of Time Out this morning whilst standing in the hot and sweaty aisle of the eastbound Central Line, I got onto one of my favourite topics of the last 2 years: plotting our escape from London.
It’s not like I hate it. I love it and the capital has been great for a number of things: I met my wife here, I had two children here, I built and maintain my career here. So what’s not to like (aside from cyclists, pollution, no space, high prices everywhere, hipsters, artisan coffee snobs zzzzz)?
It’s the nagging feeling I have that being in London is not the best place to bring up my children. This is in part informed by both my wife and I being brought up in the country – albeit opposite ends of the country – and partly because the city, for small children, is crowded, aggressive, oppressive, cramped and full of dangers. That’s not negating all the positives like multi-culturalism, racial diversity, opportunity and countless soft play facilities. But the bad outweighs the good in my eyes.
Re-locating to the country – a long held dream for both of us – brings all the rose-tinted feelings of green fields, throwing open the French doors, birds singing, nice country schools and a decent local round the corner with my tankard behind the bar (did I really just say that?). But it’s what I increasingly long for.
I want Scrip to run around uninhibited, to feel comfortable rather than intimidated in a group and build the kind of friendship set and comfort zone we had when we were growing up. And if I have to sacrifice the home we love, artisan coffee and my current employer (not necessarily in that order) then I’m ready now to put my full weight behind it. As risky as it currently feels.