It’s been 7 sleeps since we landed on these damp soils, and so far, I’ve come to realise a few facts about London life. Sure, I’ve been here a few times but I’ve never arrived without a deadline or the stance that this is the new normal.
1. Secret Socks Are Not a Thing
Here, everyone is trying to get somewhere. The grind is at all hours of the day and commuting on foot is the way of life. This makes comfortable shoes of the essence. And thus, no one cares if your socks peep beyond the height of an ankle. Londoners don’t have time to adjust the seriously-secret-sock. You know the ones, the little monsters that creep down your heel until they’re bunched by your toes yelling “You can’t see me now can you!? But you CAN FEEL ME!” Reaalllyyy secretive.
2. Trainers Definitely Are a Thing
A few years ago, my team at Fashion Weekly were discussing the debate that trainers simply don’t suit some people. Not here. You’re a trainer wearer by default. It’s either that or chronic discomfort, blisters, aching shins (yes, shins can get stiff) or a delayed commute time. Also, most people swop out their ‘Reeboks-with-a-strap’ the moment they arrive at work, into something elegant for a more streamlined work appearance, anyway.
3. People Really Do Like Queueing
Yesterday, I ordered a Piccolo from my new favourite Swedish coffee shop called Hej, (pronounced HEEEYYYY) and I took a step aside to wait for my order. Midway through typing a text, I felt a tweedy presence behind me. A man, quietly and politely, was standing there ‘In the queue’ waiting to be served. Yup. Just standing there..
4. Citymapper Will Save you Minutes, Moments and Even Hours in your Commute
Granted, my daily commute has not yet begun, however, the app Citymapper has transformed the way I view bus-taking in London. For those who aren’t au fait with the red bus bonanza, they are hard to navigate for first time users and most end up using the Tube because it’s that much easier (you pop out of the ground at said destination station). Citymapper helps you plan a route – whether it’s by foot, bus, Tube or Uber – calculates the time, acts as a GPS and gives you real time reporting of when the 172 will be arriving, down to the minutes. It includes a cost estimate and – The best part though, is the real-time direction feature, which points you in the right direction using a moveable periscope type highlight. Genius.
5. Boots is a Beauty Buyer Heaven
As is grocery shopping in Sainsburys, and sock buying in Uniqlo. The options are endless and the novelty of the availability is going to take some time to wear off, if at all. Did you know M&S does 120 Denier tights? 120 DENIER! They could basically double up as gym pants in the opacity stakes.
6. Your Feet, Legs and Back will Hurt, at First
I come from a driving culture where the most, general, walking i’d do, was from Woolworths to the parking lot. Shoes were dainty and unscathed, let alone practical for The Great Commute. As I’ve mentioned, walking is part of the city. Even if you use a bus or the Tube, you have to walk from your home to get there. This may seem standard if you live in a European or American city but for me, this is a new way of living. The solution to the discomfort? Keep Walking and stick to comfortable trainers. This too shall pass!
7. So Far, it’s Been Wonderful
In these short few days, we’ve savoured gourmet Toasties at a market on Maltby Street , been to a gig by Carmody on a Tuesday night (a school night!), eaten slow cooked ragu and fresh Burrata at Padella and celebrated a birthday at Peruvian joint, Lima, (you may remember me blabbing about it in this post). We’ve pottered around London Bridge, Oxford Street and Queen’s Park. And yesterday, we visited an art installation project called Drive Dead Slow by MERGE where vintage Dodgems are matched to your personality type and driven through a fire station in Southwark. Weird, yes, but strangely brilliant. Overall, we’re making the most of the city. This is why we moved, to change up our scenery and live our best lives. And so far, so good.