It's very hard to explain what you miss about London, until you're in this particular position, like I am, counting down the hours to return. When I'm there, sometimes I wonder why I'm bothering; I obviously can't afford to keep up with London, I mean next to nothing in the eyes of the big city, and, as a lot of my friends have found out, even if I did work full time I would still not really have enough money to enjoy life here. I've been thinking for a long time about the practical choices, and am facing them now, and am filled with heartache at the idea of quitting the city.
What makes London so magical is, in a way, it's overwhelming humanity despite the harshness. The fact that some of the greatest minds in the world flock to it. The fact that you can pay a fiver to go upstairs in a pub and witness some of the finest storytelling of your life. The ability to go see some of the most important artifcacts in the world for free in the museums. The walks, oh God, the walks. Nothing for me beats getting lost in London. Turning the corner into what seems like another world. The only thing that excludes me is money, but I don't feel that as harshly as when I return home.
Rae Leaver, Returning to London
Painting: William Lionel Wyllie, Houses of Parliament (1901)