Sunday, 7 November 2010

Leaving London

In early July I went to the Post Office in Feltham (outer London), where we were living at the time, to get our mail redirected to our new address in Cornwall. The man behind the counter asked me why I was leaving. My reply was: ‘I was born here, I don’t want to die here’. At that time we were living about a mile and half from where I was born. 61 years in the same place. I was sick of it, and pretty desperate to leave.

Tom Paxton (look him up) once wrote: ‘If I could beg, steal, or borrow a ticket on some ship or plane; I’d be leaving London tomorrow to fly to my own love again’. That seems to me to sum up how I was feeling. I had loved Cornwall since I first visited in 1973, and now I wanted to ‘fly’ (metaphorically) to the placed I loved so much.

Although we have only been in Truro for about 4 months, so it early days, I love this place and cannot see me ever wanting to live in London again. Except, of course, to visit my family, who I miss a lot.

When we left London, I had not been at work for a few months through ill health, so I had not had the chance to say goodbye to some of my colleagues properly.  So two of my dear friends (Myriam and Olga) organised a small leaving do for me, at a place of my choosing. I chose CafĂ© Rouge in Lancer Square (just off Kensington High Street):

Last Monday I drove to Hammersmith, booked in to a Premier Inn:

This was the view from my bedroom window at Premier Inn

...and then went to meet with five dear ex-colleagues for a really lovely evening. 

We had a lovely meal. I had Escargot (Snails) and Entrecote steak, which was fabulous, and we enjoyed a few bottles of wine. It was a lovely evening, which gave me the chance to say a proper goodbye to my friends. Here they are: 

For me it was also the chance to say goodbye to London.

Having said all that about leaving London, I have to admit that London is a fantastic place to visit. There are some amazing places to see and experience. I was reminded of that this week when I got a copy of a book that a friend of mine had written:

Mary Levett, who was my NVQ Assessor, wrote this book. It consists of a series of letters written to a friend, which relate Mary’s experiences as she travelled in and out of London for her job.

The book is well written, and is quite humorous I recommend it.  In the book Mary writes about a lot of London landmarks and tourist attractions. It reminded me that there are some lovely places to visit and an awful lot of interesting history in London. You can get the book from Amazon (although last time I looked they only had 2 copies left) or you can get it from the publisher at:  - or you can borrow my copy (if you come and collect it).

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