Tuesday, 3 July 2012
I have a small problem. It appears that, despite my best efforts, I have been struggling to find things to hate about London. This is most problematic, not because I particularly enjoy being pissed off, but because the name of this blog is, well, Love to Hate London. If Trading Standards or Ofcom were to read my most recent posts, I might be in bother.
This has lead to a lot of soul searching. It is true, things about London still really do my head in. But the good really seems to be outweighing bad.
Take people, for example. During the last week there have been times when London’s inhabitants have really got under my skin. From the woman who let me hold a door open for her and walked through it without saying thank you to the dumb-asses who just don’t get the concept of moving down the buses and the “youths” who insist in loudly cursing and abusing whilst they spit and smoke skunk, there are some Londoners who I would really love to see propelled into outer space.
But, even so, there are so many people I have met here who fill me with positivity – the pros who outweigh the cons. A couple of weeks ago, after a rather inspirational wedding reception, a friend and I decided to find a barn dance in London – and we did at Camden Ceilidh Club. We had a blast, skipping, swirling and hopping along with the best of them. And, as well as being a fab workout (next time it will be leggings and a vest at most), everyone was incredibly friendly, encouraging us to join in and, despite our lack of expertise, clapping us along as we jigged our way through.
Last week I met another group of like-minded people at the Southbank’s Open School. Artist Tracey Emin and writer Jeanette Winterson spoke to a group of creatives about the use of autobiography in their work. It was fascinating to hear their thought processes and really refreshing to be in a room full of like-minded people.
But, you know what? The most inspiring people I’ve met in London of late were a group of children I met on Sunday who I was lucky enough to sing along with at a concert in Camden. In a city (and country for that matter) that often demonises young people and focuses on the few who cause problems for the rest of us, it was great to see so many young talented people using their free time so constructively. And, between you and me, I suspect a few Adele’s and Amy’s of the future were in attendance.
So, I shall continue to search for something to moan about. But, I suspect, with such a cool crowd in the capital, I’ll always find something else to love as I go about my life in London.