I hate London. There, I’ve said it. Get over it. The city is not for everyone and for me it is a busy, over inflated, lonely space. I like architecture, cocktail bars and convenience but I am not a big fan of any city. In my twelve years in Ireland I rarely went to Dublin, and I spend almost zero time in Ibiza Town (Eivissa) unless interchanging buses. I am not from London and I do not live in London, I am a stones throw away and even that is enough to feel the radiating, toxic, stressful vibe that threatens my existence.
My work is becoming unbearable. I reluctantly agreed on Wednesday to take on extra responsibility, an agreement that could see me crumble under the stress. I felt bad, I didn’t want to let anyone down, I wanted to be able to use my strong work ethic and dedication to help me assist our team out of a tough time, but as the week progressed it seemed that the departments failings could not be solved by a handful of hard workers and that things might get worse.
Working for a London organisation is extremely pressurised. City life is facts, figures and deadlines. It is job pressure or job cuts, it is fast paced, fast forward, faster, faster, faster. A few years back I ground to a halt and that cannot happen again. I must realise my limitations, I must ensure my life is well balanced and satisfying, so I decide to leave London behind and venture north.
I wake up at 5am and throw the last items into my bag, I bring too much, I always bring too much. I get on the tube feeling a little selfish about taking a friday afternoon off work and slightly panicked. At Victoria the stampede of bodies is enough to induce a panic attack – people everywhere! I have thirty minutes to complete a six minute walk which terrifies me. I reach the station and cannot find bay 16. I curse myself for not allowing enough time, despite having ample time, I make an unsavoury sandwich decision, I do not buy sweets or chocolates or fizzy pop. I board a coach and faff around with the wifi settings on my phone as it departs, I cannot still myself, I waste time on apps, I watch my battery diminish before realising I can listen to my iTunes on my MacBook, and then, all of a sudden, ahhhh! I am outside London, I am alone, I am about to begin an adventure and life seems pretty alright again.
I sit back in a pure state of trance, enjoying the ride, listening to a little Chicane – who knew my GCSE Text would inspire such a great song? (I aced that book … oh my sixteen year old self … Thomas Hardy … Tom Hardy … Hardy Wines … Mmmmm …. I digress!). Hello to you all from the M1.
Offshore from Far From the Maddening Crowd 1997