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What happened to us, London?

I’ve had a bit of a bittersweet realisation over the summer with the difficulty in finding a house to buy. I think London and I have grown apart. There are no hard feelings, it’s just that we’re both different now, with different interests, than when we first fell in love…

I don’t want to say London and having a family don’t go together. Clearly, London is full of families. But it’s maybe a bit like trying to cultivate pineapples in Scotland or something – to get around all the ways in which it’s not the ideal environment takes a lot of time, money and effort, and your pineapple will end up with a vexing accent.

Modern-day street urchin

Years ago, when Cal and I were living in the one-bedroom flat we used to live in in Pimlico, I had a pregnancy scare. I remember the crushing sense of everything that made my life exciting being over – my life being over, really. It’s a good thing that I didn’t turn out to be pregnant, because clearly it wouldn’t have been the right time.

Now I’m looking for things in life that, back then, would have signalled to me that I’m ready for the grave – a house on a quiet street, access to restaurants with children’s menus, ‘date night’. And London is not quite as sprightly as it used to be, either. Uber has gone to the dogs for starters. You have to book to go to the British Museum and queue for the bag check. And the bloody flat white prices are out of control.

Speaking of date night, we had one. I had an inkling that the way to get the bigger boy motivated to be at his best behaviour for the babysitter would be to sell it as a ‘job’. He likes doing ‘jobs’.

This job was about helping the babysitter find things like plates and cutlery for dinner, and show her which toothbrush was whose. It worked a treat – the sitter said the boys practically put themselves to bed. She had asked them if they wanted a second bedtime story and my older son told her they’re only allowed one. 😂 Why haven’t we done this more often?

Also, I recommend Heart of Stone. Very James Bondian spy thriller but with some nice twists.

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