Wednesday, 3 June 2009


I love London.

Samuel Johnson once said "Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford."

I love London's buzz, busyness, noise, diversity of culture (Edgware Road anyone...?) and the way it leads the world in so many avenues. Yep ok, the financial centre has taken a bit of a hit recently, but it's still the leader in world finance (and contributor to Britain's GDP).

When I lived in Scotland, I never understood why people didn't like London. I can still remember my first ever visit to London, nigh on 17 years ago, the excitement of getting on the Tube, the Routemasters, see the Palace of Westminster, Downing Street, Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge and Hamleys! I fell in love with the place there and then and vowed that when I grew up I would move down and live there.

Over several visits my love of London never diminished. If anything it only increased as I saw that London had what nowhere else in the UK came close to. So when it came to finishing university, I had one aim. Move to London!

You can imagine my joy when I got my job at Lloyd's of London which finally allowed me to do what generations of Scots before me have done in taking the "High road to England".

London has its downsides of course. If you have ever walked through the grimmer parts of Soho at night you will understand, as well as all the scandalous poverty all around. Even the (in my opinion) excellent transport system can at times be pretty awful.

I feel rather sorry for people who when they were young never had the opportunity to live in the great metropolis of London. I have been here for two years now and would recommend it to anyone no matter what sort of personality they have. Friends often say to me, "I'm glad you love London, but I could never live there". Why not I always ask. The response is ususally regarding the busyness of it all, but to me any downside of London at the moment is more than made up for by the positives.

My tip for you today: move to London. If not, visit!