I hadn't sat down and thought about it until this evening, but this is my last week as a Londoner. I'll still be working here, but after Friday I won't be living here. Admittedly I'm not a proper Londoner. I only moved here properly in 1999, after a bit of dabbling between 1994 and 1996. But I've come to consider it as my home - it's going to feel odd not to be here anymore.
At the weekend my wife and I discussed what we should do on our last weekend. Should we go to the Royal Academy and look at the summer exhibition? Go for tea at Claridges? Spend unnecessary amounts in Liberty or Selfridges? Watch an obscure Japanese film? Or eat some poncey grub?
In the end we didn't do any of these, mainly because we just didn't fancy it (it can also be a bit tricky to do some of those things with a 14 month old). To be honest, I think we left London when we decided to move. What used to be exciting and even a big edgy has now just become dirty and slightly dangerous. It makes us sound slightly pathetic, but we can't wait to get out and listen to the silence of the village at night. I'm getting excited about throwing open the back door and wandering into the garden in the morning, without getting annoyed that the Australians over the fence are still pumping out some crazy techno beats at 8am. I'm not going to miss the bass bins in the back of that Audi across the road, or the weird tramp who walks down our street every night at about 2am singing an unknown song and clanking a specific gate in a specific way every night, without fail. I'm not going to miss hearing the neighbours doing their neighbour stuff. In short, I think it's the noise that drove me away.
I know I sound old, but I really don't mind sounding old. When we used to talk about getting out of London, we always used to say "maybe in a couple of years, when we're earning more/working less/bringing more small people into the world."
And then we realised that there was was this strange concept called 'now', and that if we kept waiting for a couple of years, we'd never get there.
So off we go. See you later London.