My regular readers (hello mum) will know I've had this love/hate thing going on with the big city ever since I moved down here in 2001. I've moaned about it often enough on the blog. And yes, there's been joy and excitement about living in London mixed in with the moans, but after eight and a half years of living in the smoke, some time in 2010 I'll be heading back north, to home. We both are, my lovely man and I.
And so, it's with a huge amount of relief that I can finally blow off the air-kissers and their meaningless cheek to cheek mwah-mwahs. I'm calling time on the people who say: "I'll call you!", "We must do lunch!", "Let's get together some time!" when they don't mean a word. I won't ever get excited again when media people tell me I'm 'sensational'. It's just a language they use and one I misunderstood, like a foreigner, lost, with the wrong phrase book.
I'll miss things, of course. I'll miss The Women's Library and their absolutely fantastic events and walks. I'll miss the Royal Festival Hall for its inclusiveness and egg mayo sarnies, a public building that has always made me feel welcome when I've often felt lost. I'll miss concerts and gigs and dancing in the park. I'll miss diversity and acceptance. And I'll miss people I've made friends with, but not as much as I've missed every single family member in the time I've lived away.
I've been ready to leave London for years. In the time I've lived here, I've fallen out of love with the big city twice for reasons too personal to blog. And now I'm looking forward, looking northwards - to family, friends, fresh air and fields, sea-views and space. To home.