It breaks my heart to write this post. We left London yesterday.
This post has been drafted several times over the last few months, then deleted because it wasn’t quite right. At one point it was a letter to London and I shed too many tears writing it, then deleted it. Another time I thought I’d make it like a little handover document to GLC, but then I deleted that. Then there was that post about Claridges which I wanted to be my last post but then the sale of our flat went on and on and on and on and we were basically stuck in Limbo for five months so it was published as a post about afternoon tea. So now I write this post straight from the heart, no scheduling or editing several times, I’m just going to write, give it a once over and push publish.
We made the decision on Good Friday to book our flights and “just go”. We’d had enough of nagging our solicitor every single day. She seems competent enough to handle the rest of the sale which is almost finished and all we were doing in London was just draining our bank account of money. Which brings me to the reason why we left London.
We didn’t leave our dear city because we’d fallen out of love with it, not at all. We thought we’d be there until BLC turned four and we needed to make decisions on schools. Mr Man Jr came along and after months of searching and trying to find a way to make London work, we realised that on our salaries (we’re both mid-career in solid professions) that we could afford a much better lifestyle for our kids elsewhere, but that elsewhere for my career as someone who works with governments for a living is Wellington.
We’re trading our one bedroom balcony-less East End Abode for what should be a three bedroom house with a garden with a 20-25 minute commute. The 24 year old me that arrived here 10 years ago would die of horror if she read that last sentence. Hello cute little Wellington, hello suburbia…
And that is what leaving London came down to. Major bonus is that grandparents will be super close by and I have loads of family there (oh hai there MacGregors!) and we are moving to the best mini city on earth. But here is my political bug bear, something I usually refrain from speaking about.
As written above, we were driven out of London because of costs of living. We could not afford for both of us to work and pay for two kids in childcare while also pay the mortgage (or rent) on even a two bedroom house unless we moved at least an hour out of the city. There is something massively wrong with that. We both have post-graduate degrees, work our socks off and have good jobs. Why is it that only those earning the mega bucks can afford to raise families without a massive commute in? That is not fair. There, I said it.
And now I move on from my mini rant.
We lived and loved London. Good heavens did we live that city. Every major event in our lives over the last decade has happened there, not least the arrival of our two little Londoners, one with the best cockney accent you ever heard.
We decided to really make the most of our last week there and be tourists in our own city one last time. On Good Friday we had an amazing afternoon as guests of the surprisingly very cool City Cruises going up and down the Thames. I highly recommend it and even Mr Man who usually refrains from joining me on cheesy tourist things was beaming from ear to ear.
Despite the cloud covering up the sun, that entire weekend was magical.
The sun shone for the rest of the week and we were so happy. London really showed us what she’s made of.
Last week kind of summed up what has been the most amazing adventure. We are now moving onwards to an exciting new adventure, but for now, I want to raise my glass to London – you were truly magnificent. And now I disappear to sob my heart out.
P.S. You may want to know what’s happening next on the blog… watch this space. I’ll schedule a post to tell you all about it.