I originally wrote this as a post on Facebook, but I don't see why only my friends should see it. It marks a moment.
Going out to a cafe to write is expensive. The house is full of boxes and emptied cupboards, though, and it's more peaceful in a Camberwell cafe than surrounded by the detritus of more than four years in London.
Tonight is my last night sleeping in London as a resident of this city. Tomorrow I'm driving the first van load to Leeds, with the second following on Thursday. We don't have a house yet, but my next few weeks are: Newcastle, Mannheim, Stockton, Newcastle (x3), London, Leeds, Edinburgh (x4). So it seemed that paying the extraordinary, extortionate London rent for all of that period was a bit silly. To be honest, it's seemed that way for a while.
We're trying to buy a house. If successful, our mortgage repayments will be almost exactly a third of our current rent. Why anyone continues to live in London bewilders me. *How* anyone continues to live in London bewilders me.
I love London. It's an amazing city full of people I love dearly (although some of them I haven't seen since I moved here). The history and the architecture and the art galleries and the parks are marvellous (although I don't go as often as I used to when I was a regular visitor). And in London it's possible to watch small-scale leftfield experimental theatre every night of the week.
So in Leeds I look forward to once again broadening my cultural horizons and watching other theatre, concerts, opera, dance and all the other things I used to do. I look forward to being half an hour from the countryside rather than being half an hour from my neighbours. I look forward to being a third of the time and a sixth of the price from my family and dear friends in the north east. And most importantly, I look forward to reconnecting with the cultural life and community of Leeds, the city where I've already spent more than half of my adult life.
I look forward to writing in cheaper cafes.
I look forward to visiting London.
I've packed half the flat today, but the real sense of achievement comes from having managed to do a good morning's writing. There aren't many feelings of satisfaction like it. I look forward to having a room to do that in.
Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will