Living amongst nature. Tending to the animals on your farm and picking apples from the small orchard that calls your garden its home. Looking outside of your bedroom window and seeing a sea of green and a nice blue sky. You breathe a nice healthy breath and your senses are awakened by a cold and fresh air that is laced with nothing but the smells of nature and all the things God put on this green earth. 

Now your probably thinking, “Where is she going with this?” Or maybe, “Oh she’s speaking from experience – she must be from the country.” Or (god forbid) – “I wish this bitch would shut up.” Either way, I will make my point. The image I described is in no way related to how I live nor how I was brought up. I’m from Liverpool. I’m no country bumpkin. The closest I get to an orchard is when I go down the fruit and veg aisle at Tesco. That being said, when I made my ‘migration’ – as I’m so lovingly calling it – to the big bad capital city, London, I was culture shocked. Which is surprising.

I will let you in on a bit of a secret. That lovely image I described at the beginning (although not everyone’s cup of tea) is pretty close to how my partner Gethin grew up. He’s Welsh. He didn’t start learning English till he was seven. He sees the Aberystwyth Arts Centre as how New Yorker’s see Madison Square Gardens (I know…!). His idea of a good night out was a few drinks in some pubs and then on to Pier Pressure (Aberystwyth’s one and only night club that resides itself on –you guessed it! – The Pier). His weekends were spent playing golf, going to the one screen cinema or perhaps for a walk on the beach. Now it may sound like I’m shitting on that, or on him. I’m not. But when you grow up in England’s fourth largest city – Aberystwyth just seems dull. Its probably not. But city life is a whole other ball game than country life. There’s always something to do, there is always something happening, and there is always people to meet.

So after 21 years you’d think I would have taken London in one big stride. I didn’t. Walking down a street in London shouldn’t feel any different than walking down one in Liverpool. It does. Why? There is one big factor that we have to consider here – London isn’t home. Even if I live here for twenty years, I can’t see it feeling like home. I find that is a common conception in Scousers. There is something about Liverpool that makes you feel like your coming home even if you’ve been gone for decades. But its not just that. Everything in London is so god damn efficient. I have a couple of tests for you. If you live in London, every time you get the tube, check to see if you have to wait more than 5 minutes. I’m telling you – you could go months, actual months before you waited that long. And when you do I guarantee you will stand there, toe tapping the platform and grimacing your face in shear disgust and frustration that you’ve had to wait so long. Its ridiculous! I swear I’ve seen people run – as in actually, full on, sprinting – just to get on the train. And when they don’t make it they flip out like someone rear ended their Porsche. How long do they have to wait till the next train? 2 minutes. What could possibly be so urgent that a 2 minute wait would make you flip out?! I tell you – nothing (Unless you’re Neo and Agent Smith is chasing you – then feel free to freak the fuck out. Otherwise – zip it). Then there is the second test. Go outside for a walk, and count how long it takes for you to see another person. Even at 4 am, I guarantee you will be bumping into someone within 10 minutes. Whether you want to or not. Every city has tests like this – don’t get me wrong. Walk round Wavertree in Liverpool and see how long it takes for you to a) Spot a drug dealer b) Be offered drugs or c) Be offered sex. Thankfully a) is more common than the other two, but they happen. My point is – London is inescapable. They can build their big parks, and they do – there’s hundreds of them. But it doesn’t change the fact your living in a huge city. Its sort of like being a gold fish. Bear with me on this one. You can put miniature castles in the bowl, you can pile loads of other fishy friends in too. Hell you could even put some of those illuminous pink stones in the bottom if you like. But none of that changes the fact that your still a gold fish, and you’re still trapped in the bowl. That’s what living in London is like. There is loads to do. And there is people everywhere. But unlike in Liverpool, you feel so much more cut off from the world. Escaping from London for even a little while feels just as impossible as escaping the gold fish bowl.

I’m not saying I don’t like London. It has its charms. But I sometimes wish I could get into a car and go see some farmers fields. Bizarre, I know. I didn’t exactly have that in Liverpool. But it was there, on the outskirts, if I needed it. And now that its gone, I don’t feel like I’ve lived in Liverpool for 21 years. I feel like I was the person at the beginning of this post who lives on a farm, and breath’s in the fresh country air. I feel like the Welsh(woman) whose moved to the big bad city. And if I’m honest, I wanna get out of the fish bowl every once in a while because one way or another, it is way too crowded in here, and, quite frankly – I hate the colour illuminous pink.

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Comments
  1. haha you hate the colour luminous pink? 😛 mad head 😛 (ermmmm maybe not). I would feel the same as you… in fact I did feel like that when I was in Liverpool. I felt that I could only breathe when I was at home as it was the countryside and fresh air (though sometimes smelly :P). Liverpool will always be my favourite city because of Uni but it ain’t no home so god forbid if I have to move to London! haha I though Liverpool was too big and too crowded 😛

    • jaivomi says:

      See if I lived in the countryside I’d probably get the exact same cabin fever – needing more people around me and bored cos theres nothing to do. So I am a city girl and I probably always will be. But at the same time, London is just too much. Too busy, too big and a little bit claustrophobic. If I think about it too much it makes me feel a bit trapped! And yes I do hate the colour illuminous pink. And if I was really a gold fish it would do my head in! x

  2. ramb says:

    I am glad u will always feel the need to leave London and come home. U might appreciate Clieves Hill a bit too! That is my escape from the pressure of work that u r feeling. Liverpool city wud be a bit the same I feel after a while.

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