In January, life in London can feel a little less glamorous than normal.
We’re all broke from Christmas and the winter chill is making me less adventurous than I’d like, so here’s a few home truths about the sometimes reality of living in the capital.
My life doesn’t resemble Made in Chelsea as much as I may have hoped…
Expectation: Drinking at fancy bars in Covent Garden.
The image of a metropolitan woman to me looks like martini’s and tiny olives on sticks sitting at a high chair in a bar (I don’t actually like martini’s let alone olives in my alcohol but I’ll do what it takes to adult).
But when the price of two cocktails is the cost of a weekly travel card a jug of woo woo in spoons before the night out is also an appealing option. Purple drinks to make the boys wink.
Expectation: Nights out at the theatre.
Reality: Staying in watching Netflix.
When moving to London, I envisaged myself strutting along Shaftesbury Avenue seeing a show every other night.
But really, who has the money for tickets when you live in the most expensive place on Earth (slight exaggeration). And then there’s a pre-show dinner to think about, then drinks and then obviously I have to buy a programme and a souvenir t-shirt (which will inevitably end up as pyjamas).
Expectation: Hailing a black cab home.
Reality: Packed train.
Living the London dream is leaning out onto the road and hailing a black cab. But who can afford those right? I admit I did get one once, but it was at the taxi rank in Lewisham and I neither had to hail it nor did the ride last longer than about 10 minutes.
I also spent the whole journey getting lectured on the evils of Uber too, it was a bitterly disappointing moment.
Expectation: Wearing classy heel boots to strut to work in like a true city worker.
My journey to work is basically a triathlon – running to work, contorting myself into any available space on a rush hour train and then weaving through crowds at Charing Cross. No matter how dreamy my book heels are I can’t rely on them to carry me to my destination pain free.
And I can’t bring myself to be the type who puts my trainers in my handbag, especially when my feet are hidden under a desk all day anyway.
Expectation: Spending lunch breaks in swanky coffee shops
Reality: Popping upstairs to the work canteen ‘cos CBA
I used to work in East London so I was thrilled to learn that my new job was located right smack in the middle of town.
This excitement soon wore thin when I realised I couldn’t leave the office during Christmas or school holidays for the deluge of people.
Popping upstairs to the work canteen will have to do.
(The food is actually pretty damn good too)
Expectation: Trying interesting restaurants
Reality: The Magic Sweetcorn man in Lewisham Shopping Centre
Ok so this may be an exaggeration, I’m still yet to try the legendary magic sweetcorn so let me know your verdict if you have.
I will give myself credit that I’m quite adventurous in trying new restaurants and finding affordable food across town, but let’s be honest, on a Sunday it’s so much easier to redeem that half chicken on your loyalty card at the local Nandos.
Disclaimer: I really do LOVE living in London I promise.