Missing my city

It gets dark, out here in Warwickshire: it’s not like doing your MBA at Cran “Muddy” field or anything, but it still gets dark once you get a klom or so away from the comforting buildings and streetlights. It gets really, REALLY dark.

Of course, you’ve got to take the lying-on-your back-beyond-campus part into account.

With so much that’s entered my life in the last few weeks, I’m missing London tonight. Maybe because it represents the All. There was just so much there, and I drank so deeply of it.

The city, sprawling languid across the Thames valley. The City, ancient empire fingering clouds with new sixty-storey ‘scrapers, brash and elegant at the same time and as acidly pleasurable as a stripper’s tears. The Thames scorching a trail across this greatest of cities, cleaner and greener with each passing winter.

Selfridges lit up in a fuck-you to environmentalism. Monty Alexander playing jazz piano at Ronnie Scott’s. The Christmas lights blazing Bond St in the December chill, lighting the harsh faces of Russian blondes fixated on Svarovski’s window. Covent Garden playing on as opera slides down the cultural consciousness towards a single page in the Sunday Times. Trashy neons of Oxford St tempered with the subtle glows of Hoxton and the Island. There were plenty of times when I felt bad, but not a single moment when I felt bored.

London was a six-year orgy of soaring experience and plummeting bank balance, endless entertainments tempered by the crushing costs of living among them. I honestly believe it’s necessary to earn £100K a year in London just to afford the basic necessities of life, and that’s as a singleton. What on EARTH do couples do?

But it was all worth it. I think I’ll make one more trip to London this year, taking someone special. (There are a few more of them since September.) It doesn’t have to be a partner, perhaps not even female, but I need to see the lights of my City again before the year turns.

But you can’t beat this feeling, out in a field in Warwickshire. Knowing that everything – just everything – is going to be ok now.

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