This isn't really a tale of two cities, rather one big city and a sleepy little town in Devon but that's not nearly as catchy.
Like Chloe I used to live in the Big Smoke and I never ever thought I’d leave. I did leave and of course it involved a boy; we met, fell in love and I headed down to deepest darkest Devon to make a go of it. You’ll be pleased to know it worked out splendidly - we’re married with dogs and step teens – but it took me an extraordinarily long time to snap out of ‘London Mode’ and into ‘Devon Mode’. There’s just something about that city that makes my heart pound a little harder, my feet move a little faster and my brain crank up a gear just to keep up; returning to Devon was a struggle.
I found myself doing the angry arms spread gesture behind the slow walkers without discrimination, expecting instant everything, wanting noodles in the middle of the night and finding only a mouldy pot noodle from the garage not really cutting the mustard. Now though? Now there’s no comparison. How can there be when I get to see this every day?
Shall we play a little game of would you rather? Let’s!
Would you rather hop on two sweaty tubes and a bus that smells like feet to meet your friends in the pub or stroll down a little Narnia like path and sip Pimms with a view?
Would you rather take your Summer picnic to a very pleasant park encased between big noisy old roads or munch your sandwiches on the sand (carefully of course!)
Would you rather commute to work on the North Circular or perhaps down a pheasanty lane pretending you’re in Danny Champion of the World?
Fancy a day out? Would you rather scuttle across the city to stand in a queue to look at the crown jewels with a gazillion other tourists or would you rather spend a day in the fresh air romping across the moorland without seeing another living soul?
Would you rather your acceptable pre dinner snacks be jellied eels or a ginormous scone covered in clotted cream and jam?
Ok the last one was an enormous cliché and of course there are a million ways in which Devon just can’t compete – a never ending list of things to do, building a career, multiculturalism, a glorious anonymity if that’s your thing, meeting new people if it’s not (although having said that a friend moved to London alone for an adventure and ended up joining a football team made up exclusively of people from our tiny home town. All 15 of them!)
London is beautiful and fierce and exciting; a little bit magical in fact and fantastic for a visit but my heart belongs to the Westcountry. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d say!
Where does your heart belong?
Meet the Writer: Michelle writes Life Outside London and can normally be found harping on about Devon and being a bit of a dog botherer!