Lost in London

A look at London and life in general through the eyes of someone who sometimes can't bear to watch.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Most days my life just plods on and on, with little to report; the personification of a cosy local newspaper, reporting on lost dogs and garden fetes. Very occasionally, it can be exhilarating, with moments of madness and fun and laughter. And sometimes everything I touch turns to dust. Kingdoms fall, lives are ruined, spines cracked and stiff upper lips liquified as yet again I manage to turn from quiet observer to king destroyer. For a short time last month, it felt like the end of days: as if there were no possible way out. No light at the end of the tunnel, no calm following the storm, no peace.

There is, however, almost always a light at the end of the tunnel, and this case was no exception. And so it is after a tumultuous couple of months I find myself no longer as I was. I'm now living in my own flat and I'm single, staring back at the end of an eight-year relationship.

I won't write too much about the break-up itself as this is a blog, not a diary hidden underneath my bed, but it has been amicable and, at the same time, extremely sad. My former other half was truly that — the other half of me. We did practically everything together, had the same group of friends and got on better than any other relationship I have had. That he is no longer in the same space as me 24/7 will be hard to get used to. Although we have moved to the same area and will probably see a lot of each other, it will be different. We won't be together. It was an end that is right and true, but that is scant consolation for either of us.

Looking for a flat has never been a favourite pastime of mine. Letting agents and landlords alike tend to stress me out and there's nothing quite so soul-destroying as being shown yet another ghettoised shithole and being assured that this is all that is available in your price range. Househunting is an endurance test like no other. Obstacles fling themselves in front of you and days alternately last for ever and whizz by, clocks ticking and counting down the time when you will have to box up your life and throw it in the back of a van. Sorting through your crap is in turns cathartic and devastating. Every till receipt, coffee cup and tea towel transforms from an everyday object into something that, at some point, had great significance. This receipt is from the time I was overcharged and didn't want to cause a fuss; that coffee cup is the one he bought me that day when… and so it continues.

It's not just my dog-eared books and kitchen utensils that I'm sorting through and leaving behind. Looking back over the blog is like reading a childish manuscript and it's probably time to wrap things up. I'm not who I was. I'm neither lost, nor a boy, and while I am still in London, seeing it through single eyes is certainly going to change things.

And so this is my penultimate post on this blog. My swansong — which I am determined will be a HUGE anti-climax, just like everything else in life — is to follow shortly.