to get just a tiny bit annoyed when people move to the country and then tell me that London is crap.

(124 Posts)
chocolatefate Fri 17-May-13 15:09:11

Just that really. I grew up in the countryside, but have lived in London for about twenty years, and love it. Loads of our friends are moving to the country, funnily enough often to the area where I grew up. They sometimes invite us for weekends which is obviously lovely and generous but I can't help getting a little bit annoyed when they act as though they are giving us a glimpse into an idyllic lifestyle we have mistakenly foregone and/or start slagging off London, including what a terrible place it is to bring up children. The latter happens quite often. It's also quite difficult to persuade the same people to visit us in town once they have moved out. Why is that?

RootinTootin Fri 17-May-13 15:21:00

London is brilliant for kids, there is so much for them to do. Gotta be better than my rural upbringing where the highlight of the week was deciding which park bench to drink Mad Dog 20 20 on.

Blu Fri 17-May-13 15:23:37

If everyone moved to the country there wouldn't be such a thing as the country...

People like differnt things - and they especially have to jutify to themselves and every one else the choices they have made. Converts are always the most evangelical.

Just smile and nod and say 'Good to know it hasn't changed since I grew up here'.

Don't take it so personally.

chocolatefate Fri 17-May-13 15:23:50

Oh god, agreed. Don't want to make this a slagging off the country thread but I think there's so much to do in London - and we still also get to VISIT the country, so for me, best of both.

chocolatefate Fri 17-May-13 15:24:37

Yes, not meaning to take it personally, find it interesting though as I genuinely try not to do the opposite if you know what I mean.

StuntGirl Fri 17-May-13 15:24:52

Because evangelical people are utter self indulgent bores, whatever their particular 'passion'.

Laugh it off, say something like "Oh we must have been trendsetters!" Smile and ignore their silliness.

Give them some time

That first year after you leave London is pretty amazing, it takes quite a while to decompress... but after a while you do appreciate what you have left.

We left London for France, that first year was so so lovely, but now we are looking to move back and I'm happy about that too.

London is not always a great place to bring up children, it really depends on the family's setup. We really struggled at the time but if we go back we will be much better set up so I think it will be okay.

I moved away to a place that's 'great to raise children'. My DD doesn't get to go to the Science Museum or Natural History Museum and thank goodness we have a multicultural family or she would think everyone in the world except Dora, Rastamouse and a couple of Elmo's friends are white.

I love London.

Winterwardrobetime Fri 17-May-13 15:35:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Squigglypig Fri 17-May-13 15:35:45

Totally with you on this. I grew up in the middle of nowhere and whilst on paper it looked idyllic (we were pretty much left to our own devices) I remember spending most of my younger childhood lonely because I had no friends my own age in the same village and most of my teenage years plotting my escape.

I do sometimes feel nostalgic but then we go and spend the weekend with my mum and I remember how the highlight of the week would be going to the supermarket and then suddenly I'm not so fussed about the pretty views anymore.

I also feel that there are so many opportunties that my DD will have that I never had, there's so much going on all the time. And when she's older I've got good links with people in all sorts of fields workwise so I think she'll have a good chance to get experience in whatever career she wants (this is 18 years away but I'm a planner!) whereas the only jobs that were about where I grew up were in farming (we weren't farmers) or public services like teaching.

This is what I tell myself when I'm pushing the buggy along the south circular of a morning anyway!

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 15:39:35

They are probably justifying their move which was their escape to the country. They chose to move & this is most likely because they thought it wasn't right for them a family. This is what they are saying to you - they aren't talking about you choosing to live in London

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 17-May-13 15:42:15

We moved out of London to the country. I miss it so so much. But we can't afford a house there, so that's that.

London is a brilliant place to live and bring up children.

garlicgrump Fri 17-May-13 16:14:10

Well, if it's any comfort - I moved to the country and the country is crap!
Trouble is, it's a one-way trip. Once you've left the Smoke you can't afford to go back. You've got to convince yourself - and anyone who'll listen - you did the right thing!
I didn't! I did the wrong thing, and don't mind admitting it!
Still can't afford to go back, though sad <sobs>

chocolatefate Fri 17-May-13 16:19:24

Gosh, was sort of expecting to get murdered over this one so thanks for sympathetic response! Squiggly, I too do the south circular, perhaps you are not far away!

StuntGirl Fri 17-May-13 16:28:43

See I have the opposite, a friend (more of an acquaintance luckily) who moved to London for uni and will not stop banging on about how amazing and interesting London is and how we're all so terribly dull and backwards in our boring little town. I want to throttle him every time I see him.

SignoraStronza Fri 17-May-13 16:31:57

Another one who grew up in the arse end of nowhere country. The other kids in the area all went to private school and rode ponies, so was a pretty lonely time. As soon as I got to my teens I'd refuse to come home at weekends and spent my time camped out on friends' floors. They'll soon resent all the taxi driving when dcs are older and dcs will get fed up that their friends can't just pop in.
Couldn't wait to escape. I remember the novelty of living a 1 minute walk from a spar shop once I'd moved. grin

garlicgrump Fri 17-May-13 16:37:09

Oooh, yes, 24-hour shops just a few minutes' walk away! Being able to buy foreign ingredients! Things going on all the time, not just the third Tuesday of the month at 9:30am. Frequent public transport! I'm torturing myself!!

Fillyjonk75 Fri 17-May-13 16:37:42

I live 22 miles from London, in the countryside. Can get into central London on the train quicker than when I lived in zone 2. Then get the f**k out again quickly as well.

Squitten Fri 17-May-13 16:40:39

Me and DH were both born and have lived in London our whole lives. We sometimes discuss moving out somewhere else but have decided that we would miss it too much.

We've found a nice half-way house where we live - a nice leafy suburb with a really great community vibe but also excellent transport links so that we can get in or out of London quite easily.

GoodbyePorkPie Fri 17-May-13 16:47:52

London's an amazing place to bring up kids - the parks, the museums, the galleries, the theatres ... we have left now (for another city of the same size) and I miss it so much! I think your friends protest a little too much, OP.

Mintyy Fri 17-May-13 16:51:39

I moved out of London and lived in Devon, near Cornwall, for two years. Couldn't wait to move back and will NOT be making the same mistake again. I've seen quite a few posts on Mumsnet over the years from people who regret moving out of London.

GrendelsMum Fri 17-May-13 16:53:11

I think people who bang on about how much better their home is than yours are always going to be infuriating, whatever the comparison. London v. not-London, city v. country, one surburb v. another suburb - always annoying to be told how much better their choice is than yours.

notquiteruralbliss Fri 17-May-13 16:53:47

Gosh, I find it hard to see why anyone would want to we moved out of London about 10 years ago, largely because, at the time, we couldn't afford to stay. The kids love where we live (we have lots of space & they have dogs, ponies etc) but I'd move back like a shot.

London is amazing. I moved here five years ago, and I love it. We don't live in a good area, but there are loads of places to go, loads f things to do, and so many people that it almost feels comforting- knowing you're surrounding by eight and a bit million other people.

ComposHat Fri 17-May-13 16:57:10

I hate the country, full of Tories and smells of shite. (cause & effect surely)

Even the bloody archers make it seem dreary and miserable.

OwlLady Fri 17-May-13 17:00:18

maybe they have become a bit insular?wink

I have moved to the country, and yes there are lots of gypsy hating tories that smell.

But I like the isolation and the extreme adrenalin when I go to meet friends in London, wahey!

There was a great thread on here once with all the MNers who grew up in the country, hated it and are still joyous about escaping!

I suppose we are the exact opposite of expatLondoners grin

Politely remind them that you've lived in the country before and prefer the city thanks.

Or tell 'em to Fuck off and get new friends.

OwlLady Fri 17-May-13 17:13:23

the grass is always greener on the other side isnt it?

I grew up in a very deprived area of the country and I was desperate to get out I have in succession:

1) moved to a more cosmopolitan town
2) moved to the coast
3) moved to the country

What will be my next step?

I still have no money!blush

OwlLady Fri 17-May-13 17:14:36

and i do the extreme end.
in town i lived right in town
on the coast i lived so i was right by the sea
in the country i actually virtually live on a farm...

LadyClariceCannockMonty Fri 17-May-13 17:16:38

No, YANBU. London rocks. The country is often shit.

Because they are protesting too much.

SusieWong42 Fri 17-May-13 17:18:12

Having just moved to the country to start afresh, my two daughters live in London and love their Country Retreat! Similarly, when i miss the bright lights or have work in the City, i know where i can stay and be welcome - so best of both worlds! Just enjoy what you have until it is no longer for you and then make a move.

sadsong Fri 17-May-13 17:20:12

We didn't live in London, but nevertheless a very large city and moved to the country. The first year was amazing. The second was one of the worst in my whole life! We moved back to civilisation while I was heavily pg. thank god we did! Perhaps I had to leave so I could comeback and appreciate it.

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 17:20:41

this thread is not really succeeding in not bashing the country grin

I never know why people think living in the country is good for children - I live in the country because I want to, not because it will benefit my children they can just suffer the rural boredom

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 17:22:18

I feel compelled to point out that racists and tories exist in cities too hmm

Sheshelob Fri 17-May-13 17:25:43

Country = axe murderers. Fact.

OwlLady Fri 17-May-13 17:35:21

i live in the cuntry i am not racist smile

chocolatefate Fri 17-May-13 17:35:53

Let me be honest: if I win the lottery tonight, I would buy a little bolt hole on the coast, to go with the riverside penthouse I will upgrade to in London. I do like the countryside. For holidays now and again, especially if it's that type of countryside that's a bit like London. But seriously, WHY is it so hard to get country dwellers to come to town? That's a strange one.

Farewelltoarms Fri 17-May-13 17:36:48

I won't bash the country, but it is weird how the émigrés have no such embarrassment. 'How do you breathe in all that polluted air?' like we still have right old pea soupers. 'It's so great to see stars instead of police helicopters', 'bluebells instead of dog poo'.
Blah blah blah I can take it all telling myself that they're convincing themselves as much as anyone.
But the city's no place to bring up children bit? Grrrr

GreenEggsAndNaiceHam Fri 17-May-13 17:39:41

I don't want to visit the countryside at weekends, that is when the funest London stuff happens.

Smile and nod chocolatefate smile and nod

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 17:45:28

I visit London as often as I can.

Lioninthesun Fri 17-May-13 18:14:07

I wish I lived in London - been in a town for 6 years and sometimes feel so isolated and bored out of my mind it is untrue. This May Day there was NOTHING to do! I scoured the net for hours and even asked on FB, that is how desperate I was to get out and about! If it didn't cost £60+ to get to London (if I leave before 10am) I would be up there at least once a week.
Only trouble I ever have in London is escalators with a buggy - not that brave and it can be a fag trying to suss out which ones have facilities and which don't. Adding taxi fares onto the train fare is my week's budget gone, so not really possible that often.
Surprisingly people in the town annoy me much more as they walk so slowly and tend to stop suddenly and several times even walk backwards without looking! which you don't get in London, despite the crowds. I wish we had a quarter of what there is to do in London!

EatenByZombies Fri 17-May-13 18:43:45

I think YAB a little U. You don't like them for slagging off London because London is great and better (in your opinion) than the country, but it's the same as you saying that London is great and the country is boring etc wink

kerala Fri 17-May-13 18:51:39

Proper rich people always have a place in town and a country retreat - there are pros and cons to both and I speak as one who grew up in a village and spent my twenties in London.

What baffles me is that it's socially acceptable to slag off London to londoners but not for Londoners to criticise others home towns...

Sheshelob Fri 17-May-13 18:53:02

But it is a fact that small towns are full of axe murderers. Have you not seen the films?

ophelia275 Fri 17-May-13 18:53:03

I think it depends.

London is great if you are in a good job or have lots of money, bought a property pre 2000 and don't have kids.

If you have kids, rent, live in a shitty area and have a crappy job then London is obviously not that great.

There are so many variables.

SvetlanaKirilenko Fri 17-May-13 18:56:53

YANBU. I have a place in town and a country retreat, which is lovely - I'm not rich but my parents still live in the country and I can visit (from London) whenever I like. But I don't have to live there, hurrah!

SquigglyPig you have described my childhood exactly. Bored and desperately plotting my move to a city. Can not imagine leaving London.

OhLori Fri 17-May-13 18:57:24

Depends where you live in London and how much money you've got.

SvetlanaKirilenko Fri 17-May-13 18:58:28

And I think kids growing up in London have a fab life, my DD has all her friends within walking distance of our house, several on the same road, they walk to school together in the mornings. Schools are decent in our neck of the woods. What's not great about that?!

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 18:58:56

I have absolutely no idea why people think London is a bad place to bring up kids. I couldn't imagine wanting to leave for any reason other than a financial one.

For starters, we spend more time outdoors than any of our friends who live in the country and have to drive everywhere. My commute is a gorgeous 35 mins along canals and green cycle paths, and we spend weekends in our wellies getting muddy and climbing trees with noone else in sight apart from the cows.

This is in zone 2.

MrsLyman Fri 17-May-13 19:05:42

London is great but I wouldn't live there with children as to get a decent house in decent area would just mean working ridiculous hours and I quite like the fact DH mostly comes home before 9. I also wouldn't move to the country and then commute into London though, worst of both worlds.

Other non-London cities are therefore best which makes both you and your friends U.

CruCru Fri 17-May-13 19:06:10

What I don't get is that people think its okay to slag London off to people who live there. I wouldn't even think of slagging off someone's town to them. I did a thread on this a while ago and people got a bit passionate about it.

flanbase Fri 17-May-13 19:07:14

The countryside is far healthier and better than the urban environment. There are many environmental issues to living a city that are not present in the countryside - noise, air quality & over crowding are all features of city living. I feel a layer of grime on me due to the pollution when I've been to London. I wouldn't want to be living in that every day.

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 19:26:05

London is great if you are in a good job or have lots of money, bought a property pre 2000 and don't have kids

If you have kids, rent, live in a shitty area and have a crappy job then London is obviously not that great

Yes there are variables.

I rent, have kids, live in what most would think is a shitty area and don't even have a job let alone a crappy one, but London is still great!

You don't have to be rich to get the most out of london. I could say the same about the country, I expect being hard up in the country isnt much fun either! especially with expensive public transport.

OP yes, I have heard this from people and I think its their need to justify their decision, but it is very annoying.

Nehru Fri 17-May-13 19:27:08

i laugh at weekend guests with london exiles

london people take them to the MOST DULL THINGS like village fetes and cider festivals and the guests piss off home grateful to be out of there

Hosts are exhausted.

make new friends guys

williaminajetfighter Fri 17-May-13 19:27:43

I like cities but there are other great cities outside of London. Its not just 'London or the sticks...'

Glasgow and Edinburgh both offer city life but 20 mins to the country. Fab.

valiumredhead Fri 17-May-13 19:30:10

I moved out of London 5 years ago,you couldn't pay me enough to move back but I do miss it weirdly. I need to get a 'London Fix' every month or so to remind myself why I moved away

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 19:42:44

I feel a layer of grime on me due to the pollution when I've been to London. I wouldn't want to be living in that every day

I must be filthy oh no, I bath/shower twice a day, don't you need to do that in the country then?

Nehru Fri 17-May-13 19:44:58

not twice tbh

valiumredhead Fri 17-May-13 19:46:03

There IS a layer of grime, that's one of the first things I noticed when we moved out, when I cleaned my face at night the cotton wool pad was no longer black!

blackice Fri 17-May-13 19:47:44

London is not crap. It's brilliant. I'd move back there in a heartbeat if I could.


valiumredhead Fri 17-May-13 19:49:56

And the blackspot is London, where air quality is among the worst in Europe, according a report by the London Assembly’s cross-party environment committee in May. Living in London will take, on average, three years off your life, according to Walters. “We’re not talking about people getting sick and dying in a few weeks, it’s a long-term process. We’re talking about people dying prematurely, sooner that they would do if the air conditions were better.”

Just googled OU platform grin

I love and hate London in equal measures tbh.

VinegarDrinker Fri 17-May-13 19:50:58

I don't bath/shower twice a day. I'm fairly sure I'm not covered in grime either. As for noise, was out in the garden earlier and all I could hear was birdsong. As I mentioned earlier, we live in zone 2. The main roads are noisy but that's true wherever you live.

I accept air quality in the middle of the city isn't the best, but tbh I feel the environmental and health benefits of living somewhere where we can - and do - walk or cycle everywhere massively outweigh any disadvantages. And as I said earlier, I have a gorgeous, green, peaceful (cycle) commute, when I rarely encounter more than a handful of dog walkers.

Cakecrumbsinmybra Fri 17-May-13 19:52:22

I would never tell any of my friends who remain in London that their choice is a bad one, or that it's a crap place to bring up kids. I wouldn't dream of it.

I can however, tell you our reasons for not wanting to visit London at the weekends:
- DH still works there, most of the week. It would be his idea of hell to stay there at the weekend too, even to visit friends
- traffic. You have to time your visit perfectly to avoid a hideous journey
- its hard work visiting London when you've got babies/toddlers because things to do are much more limited, than where we live by the sea, for example. On our last visit as a family we went to the same play park 3 times, which was mind numbingly boring to say the least
- most of our friends in London have less space/tiny garden, making it hard work when you have up to 10 in a house for the weekend

So, the last time I went to London, I took DS1 on my own and stayed at a friends. DS1 is 6, we went on the train and just had a fab time. We decided this works really well for us. DH got to hang out at home with DS2, I got to take DS1 on the Eye, Natural History museum, etc and go out with my friend. Perhaps this is something you can suggest to your friends too?

Fairylea Fri 17-May-13 19:54:17

Well... I think maybe I am one of these people who moves out of London and moans about it afterwards. Oops.

We moved from south London to south Norfolk and I love love love south Norfolk so much. I lived in London all my life for 30 years and I'd seen it change so much and my area in particular was becoming rougher. I didn't want my dc growing up in that environment. That's not to say I don't like London culturally and from a tourist point of view, but I don't want to live there.

If we fancy a day seeing the sights ... well we are about an hour and a bit away by train.

You couldn't pay me to move back to London.

I love the fact when I open the local newspaper now all its filled with is stories of charity fundraising and at worst maybe a lost dog or whatever. I have never in the last 6 years I've lived here ever heard about a violent crime or even a burglary in our immediate area. Where I lived in London before they happened all the time. Everyone I knew had experienced something bad. I was mugged too.

I don't think London is all bad and yes I can appreciate the historical aspects, museums and galleries and whatever else. But I'd rather go for a day trip and come back to Norfolk.

ParadiseChick Fri 17-May-13 19:54:31

I feel grimy after a day in Edinburgh which is really just a big town with a rock in it.

I'm a country lass at heart, I love visiting cities but home is where the hay is for me!

iloveweetos Fri 17-May-13 19:57:57

I moved out of London to country ish area lol and I miss it!!!! There is so much for children to do and they're easy to get to. (I don't drive)

idiuntno57 Fri 17-May-13 19:59:58

Its not crap. In fact as far as we are concerned (zone 2/leafy suburb next to urban ultra cool) we have the best of both worlds.

Definitely a protesteth too much issue.

Lazyjaney Fri 17-May-13 20:00:47

When one is tired of London, one is tired of life.

Also people try hard to justify their decisions once made, and you as the townie visitor will bear the brunt of that because you know that a weekend in the country is a pleasure but a year in the country is a sentence smile

maillotjaune Fri 17-May-13 20:01:15

grin at ComposHat

I have always lived in London excerpt for university - wouldn't leave by choice, and I think it's a great place for bringing up children. I wouldn't bang on about that to friends who don't live here.

The air may be cleaner elsewhere but as we're all going to live to 110 or something I expect I'll be glad of a few years off my care home bills.

Squigglypig Fri 17-May-13 20:16:09

And is the air really that clean in the countryside anyway? All those pesticides and fertilisers keeping the crops uniform and pretty in the fields that you can't walk in because there's no right of way. And the bloody dead sheep. I came across a lot of dead sheep in my childhood!

But I do like visiting a couple of times a year.

Saski Fri 17-May-13 20:40:56

London is just too expensive. You have to be absolutely loaded to have a proper garden. That makes parenthood quite hard, IMO - you just have to constantly ferry your kids around from one park to another. I get tired of parks.

Bunbaker Fri 17-May-13 21:09:53

I definitely notice the difference in how dirty the atmosphere is in London. I wear glasses and they get mucky far more quickly in London - scientific evidence for you grin

I grew up in Greater London and worked in the City and then the West End. I moved to Yorkshire more than 30 years ago and I don't miss London at all. I now live in a semi rural area, within half an hour of two major cities and within an hour's drive of 3 regional airports and 3 national museums.

Before DD was born I used to go to the opera and ballet and eat out regularly in various ethnic restaurants in spite of living in what some superior Londoncentric folk (and I include members of my family in this category) think of as a dull backwater.

I resent the fact that so many London lovers think that anywhere outside of London is beyond the pale and a cultural desert.

The crime rate round here is pretty low, DD's school bus goes along pretty, winding roads to her school every morning and they don't encounter any traffic jams. We have several farm shops to buy local produce from - home grown vegetables and local meat that I know the provenance of (no horsemeat in my minced beef thank you). And all the major supermarkets deliver round here.

No, I don't miss London and the horrible commute by train and tube every day. Mind you I have a horrible drive down the M1, but at least I don't risk having strangers groping me on the tube (yes, that has happened to me)

AmberLeaf Fri 17-May-13 21:14:42

I have a proper garden, I am not loaded.

<unless by 'proper' you mean 100 acres or something, in which case you'd need to be loaded wherever you lived!>

OP this thread is going to turn into a London bashing thread.

They always do.

idiuntno57 Fri 17-May-13 21:18:09

let the people who don't like London stay away.

Its fab. <and my garden is small and we are skint>

FreudiansSlipper Fri 17-May-13 21:32:50

I love living in London live in se London a great area for families and easy to get into central London

I have a few friends who have moved out to Reigate way, it's cupcake, boden, cath kidston central very nice but that is it nice nothing too exciting happens it is nothing other than nice

I really really love where we live we have a nice shared garden, lovely neighbours, has a real community feel, great cafe, restaurants, pubs, shops, markets and wonderful parks all very close by

mefisto Fri 17-May-13 21:46:06

YANBU. I am a Londoner by birth and have lived there (although have now moved away) for most of my life. I am reasonably happy where I am now but I do get very red mist-y when I am told how grateful I should be for escaping all the violence, dirt, crowds, stress, expense yada yada yada. I feel very protective towards London and it was a great place to be with small children. Also don’t understand the idea that London is unfriendly – not the case at all in my experience. Also so much more to do that was free – activities where I am are so much more expensive and scarce (and I’m now in one of the cheapest parts of the UK).

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 17-May-13 21:54:47

This gets my goat too. I'd never slag off their choice. Although, for most of them it wasn't a choice as they had to move to be able to afford a house big enough for a family to live in comfortably. DH and I know we're really lucky to have had enough money to buy a good sized house (or in my case, unlucky through death and inheritance).

My DCousins (who we see about once a year as they all live very rurally at the other end of the country) always behave horrified about London. I don't get it really. Day by day, our DCs lead very similar lives. We walk to primary school, so do they. The kids from our school all play out in the park after school, so do they. We walk our dogs every day in the forest, so do they. We don't live in a crumbling tower block with a pissy lift next door to a crack den on a main road. They don't live in Darling Buds of May world.

The main difference, and the only thing that does make me envy is clean green space. We have masses upon masses of green London on our doorstep but it's a bit, well, manky tbh. It's not clean dirt iykwim. There could be a used condom at close quarters at any time I always think!

Vertana Fri 17-May-13 21:54:49

Page four and no one has mentioned Stewart Lee?

Meerkatwhiskers Fri 17-May-13 21:56:08

My family is from London but all moved down to a New Town in the South as they couldn't get housing in London. So I grew up in a large town in the south which is 40 mins from London on the train but still had family living in London so visited regularly and know it well. I'm def a townie and not a country person (although there are cows and sheep within a mile lol).

I love London and would love to live there. However, it's just too expensive and DH hates it with a passion. I guess my roots are there so my heart lies there so i see it completely differently to him. He worked in the city for years and hated the commute and now works in outer London (which isn't so bad) but there is no way he will live there. Plus we live in the cheapest area in the area south of London so could never afford to even move within our county I don't think lol. If we won the lottery I would insist on an apartment there.

Vertana Fri 17-May-13 21:57:59

On a more personal note, I completely agree OP and get quite offended when colleagues and friends say they could never bring up children in London given that
A) I grew up in London
B) i am bringing up my two children in London

MissBetseyTrotwood Fri 17-May-13 22:08:17

Stuart Lee lives in the leafiest, most MC, champagne leftie part of NE London. I expect he has a very pleasant quality of life. I too would move there in the drop of a hat were I able to afford it! grin

HumphreyCobbler Fri 17-May-13 22:13:09

My DC, who live in a very rural location, are always terribly excited when we visit their cousins in London. It is fantastic fun for them. The reverse is also true for their cousins.

Vertana Fri 17-May-13 22:16:26

Haha! Now some bits of London are not Londony enough for the hardcore then? grin

I am kind of sad lots of the 'mummy' friends I've made are all planning to move out of London before our kids start primary - all say it's so they can have a bigger house.

I would also love a bigger house (currently rent a small 2-bed and will probably never afford to buy!) but not at the cost of leaving my friends, family, ommunity etc... Plus I love London (most of the time!)

piratecat Fri 17-May-13 22:21:08

Freudianslipper where do you live.
i lived in south east London in my twenties and moved out a few years into married life. eleven years later and a mum but divorced i really feel the pull to go back. i rent from a housing association so could do a swap but having no luck finding a swap.
i was sick me London by the time i/we left and wanted a total change. yet now my child is getting older and Will fly the nest i can't imagine being in the country anymore.

MajorBumsore Fri 17-May-13 22:50:58

Ha ha vertana, just tried to link that Stewart Lee clip, but bloody iPad wouldn't let me!
Love London, briefly thought about moving Surrey way, but had a mini panic attack when faced with the reality.

Bunbaker Sat 18-May-13 08:44:51

Never heard of Stewart Lee

It's town mouse and country mouse all over again, except that having been brought up in London I much prefer only going back for visits.

My heart lift as the train pulls up into St Pancras and then it lifts again as it leaves a few days later.

This thread has made me feel very sad. DH wants to leave and DS secondary school choices really aren't great so think we're off.

I know I won't be the type to lord it over Londoners though. I'll be jealous and angling for weekend invites back .

limitedperiodonly Sat 18-May-13 10:14:42

There's a champagne Leftie part of NE London? They kept it well-hidden when I was living there.

Ehhn Sun 19-May-13 11:09:23

I seriously don't get the people who say there is nothing to do in the countryside - we have a theatre called the watermill that is used for previews by London shows, a cinema, and I play rugby, keep my horse, my housemate is on the lacrosse and hockey teams - and for kids there are so many groups and activities - brownies, guides, scouts, play groups, indoor and outdoor play centres. We have garden, school and village fetes, we have a michelin starred restaurant at the vineyard and loads of amazing pubs. I grew up in the countryside but I went to uni on the strand in central London and still have to go there once a week. Whilst it is nice to be able to see museums etc... the BM and science museums are amazing but they don't change that often to warrant visits more than once or twice a year! What I don't miss is how it used to take me the best part of 30 or 40 minutes to get 2.5 miles from islington to the strand.
Still each to their own and I think you should raise your kids where you are happy - happy parents = happy kids. I'm not happy in the city; others are not happy in the country.

rurlual nice when kids younger but as get older we live on edge of small town and they can walk to swimming /cinema/bowling etc and trains to london in 30 mina

Bunbaker Sun 19-May-13 11:58:47

I totally agree Ehn. When I lived in South London it used to take longer for me to get to the West End than it now takes me to drive to the centre of the two major cities we are nearest to.

I have easy access to national museums, theatres, other cultural activities, swimming pools, cinema, bowling, Laserquest, artificial ski slopes, shopping centres, outstanding schools, soft play centres (not now though as DD is 12), youth group, after school activities, Brownies, Guides etc.

What we don't need is parks because we have open countryside on our doorstep and we live only a few miles from one of the UK's most well known and beautiful national parks.

specialsubject Sun 19-May-13 12:02:53

I have family right in the middle of London. I live in a village about 10 minutes from a large town. We visit each other.

they come here and love the peace and space, and all the country stuff. But they wouldn't live here - too little going on.
I go there and love all that London has to offer. But I wouldn't live there now - too noisy and too cramped.

so we each get a holiday in the other life and everyone is happy. Neither place is 'crap' and bringing up kids in either place is fine.

War zones are crap. Deserts are crap. People lucky enough to live in the UK need to stop whining!

extremepie Sun 19-May-13 13:27:10

Well I slagged off London when I lived there and now I've moved to the country, I still slag it off :D

Its great for some people but just not for me, I hated it and am much happier in the country!

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sun 19-May-13 17:10:04

'What baffles me is that it's socially acceptable to slag off London to londoners but not for Londoners to criticise others home towns...'

Exactly well, admittedly I do criticise others' home towns

AmberLeaf Sun 19-May-13 17:24:09

London is just a free for all, whether that's for people to enjoy it, or for people to slag it off!

chocolatefate Mon 20-May-13 11:27:40

Well, I went to the country this weekend. It was nice! But London is nice too! I would just say somebody up the thread said something about not visiting friends in London because of the traffic .... but surely, that has to work in precisely the same way in the other direction? And somebody else said something about village fetes! God, you are SO right. We went to a village fete this weekend. I have DONE village fetes, spent my whole childhood doing the fete thing, no need to ever knock another coconut off a shy and make small talk with people ever again. That's all. But we had a nice weekend, and hardly anyone slagged off London. Result.

fragolino Mon 20-May-13 12:11:44

London is a series of villages, London is NOT Oxford street.
It really annoys me when people say they hate London and they live within a 30 mile radius and they have only ever been to the busiest places.
Its a fabulous wonderful city, sadly i cannot afford to live there but I do like coming home to my garden too.

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 20-May-13 12:13:45

fragolino, exactly, exactly, exactly. People making a beeline for Leicester Squalor Square, Covent Garden, Oxford St on a Saturday hmm, and then complaining about how busy/expensive it is and how bad the restaurants are. What do they expect???

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:15:11

Villages in London smile

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:15:44

Having a lol to that one - never seen a village in London

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 20-May-13 12:18:53

flanbase, what fragolino means, I think (sorry if I'm wrong, fragolino!) is that because London is so big, it feels less like one town with a centre and more like lots of small neighborhoods, all with different shops/architecture/culture/feel.

I live in London and I agree with this. For example, Hampstead is radically different in feel to Brixton. South Dulwich (which is actually pretty villagey) is very different from South Kensington.

My neighborhood is VERY villagey, with parks, a lovely local high street where I'm a recognised regular in lots of the shops and cafes and chat to lots of the people who work there, and a sense of community.

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 20-May-13 12:20:00

I lived in a beautiful part of the Western Highlands for a few years, and other than the scenery, hill walking and fishing, I don't miss a damn thing about it. Now I'm in a suburb of Manchester, with the countryside out the back door, and I couldn't be happier.

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:20:46

It's like greenwich village in nyc - it just made me smile

KatyTheCleaningLady Mon 20-May-13 12:22:18

As for the big city experience, I moved from the rural Midwest to San Francisco when I was 21. I think that sort of experience is good for people to have.

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:26:39

Agree with that. I moved from a village to a city and it's good for young people to be able to manage in different environments

LadyClariceCannockMonty Mon 20-May-13 12:26:53

I think Greenwich Village is villagey too. It's about the culture in a neighborhood – chatting/nodding to people you see in the street all the time, being a regular in the pubs and shops, feeling comfortable shuffling out to the shop in PJs with a coat over the top or is that just me that does that

flanbase Mon 20-May-13 12:38:10

Agree and nice that this neighbourhood feel happens.

scampadoodle Mon 20-May-13 12:39:27

I think the 'village' comment is because what we now call 'London' was once lots of different villages (yes, real ones) which over the years (especially the last century) have been built up so that they all blend into one another. Most of them still retain very individual characters even if no one would pretend you feel like you're in the middle of the countryside. Until the late 19th century Islington was known as the place you got your milk from as there were lots of dairy herds. And Hackney was very rural.

maillotjaune Mon 20-May-13 15:05:30

In this part of London only estate agents actually use the term villagey, but it is certainly a nice friendly place to live.

I think it's easy to find places unfriendly if you haven't grown up there and go to work most days.

Mintyy Mon 20-May-13 15:13:08

Heh heh, I can never quite erase from my mind some Estate Agent particulars that described an area as "East of Brixton Village" (and this was 20 years before there really was a village in Brixton). Can't remember what area they were trying to describe ... Stockwell, or Clapham North maybe.

Jux Mon 20-May-13 15:18:07

We moved from London to the country nearly 8 years ago. I would go back like a shot. It's the country which is crap, and London is fab!


DownstairsMixUp Mon 20-May-13 15:24:45

I LOVE living in a very small sea side town now but I wouldn't of wanted to grow up here!! I loved growing up there, so much to do and see and I would never have chosen anywhere else to go uni either. I moved to a quieter area purely as the area I was brought up in got a bit rough and it's cheaper here but if my kids ever do want to go uni I'd encourage them to choose London one's just to have a few years experience of it. I'd never move back there but I would def never have wanted to have been brought up here. Too little to do for kids, rubbish transport and London has that lovely "anonymous" thing where as smaller towns like here everyone knows each other's business and thats the only thign that drives me bonkers !

AmberLeaf Mon 20-May-13 16:14:52

I do chuckle at what some estate agents call villages near where I live.

People buy into it though. Literally.

OwlLady Mon 20-May-13 17:14:35

I think you have spent too much time in Cannock LadyClarice or maybe Brownhills

limitedperiodonly Mon 20-May-13 18:23:19

Walthamstow had a village in 1986. To be fair, it was a bit nicer than the rest of Walthamstow and had a nice pub.

Some of the rest of Walthamstow was all rightish too which probably accounted for people voting for a Tory MP in '83 or '87. I think they were getting a bit above themselves there wink.

I know someone from the Essex suburbs who foamed at references to the Beckton Alps, saying it was estate agent-speak and people pretending they were better than they ought to be.

I took it as black humour because the boxy new houses cut off from civilisation by the A13 were in the shadow of a rubble-tip-cum-dry-ski-slope that inevitably went bust.

formicadinosaur Mon 20-May-13 18:43:04

We used to be city folk but are no more. Each to their own, we are all different. We also have a differnt type of fun in our area, messing around building dens with friends in the forsets and paddling in streams finding frogs. We are far from isolated due to our lovely communtiy. We do love a treck to the city once a year though.

limitedperiodonly Mon 20-May-13 18:55:44

We have frogs in London town. One of the cheering things about species are that they find a niche. Obviously rats are less cheery as neighbours, but I hear you have them in the country too.

I used to live in London, moved to the coutryside 10 years ago and have never missed it for a second. In fact, I'm now hoping to go somewhere even more rural. Having said that, we took the dc (5 and 7) to London a couple of times recently and they were absolutely blown away by it.

The problem is, not many people can afford to live in the nice or interesting bits of London. I have probably been guilty of exactly that kind of anti-London talk, OP, because when I look back on my time there, most of it was spent in Acton and Shepherd's Bush rather than anywhere glam or cultural. My own fault for not taking more advantage when I was there, I suppose.

limitedperiodonly Mon 20-May-13 19:01:38

is that it finds a niche.

I don't think you have to be a pendant to live in London but like some frogs, we are an endangered species that deserves protection.

SvetlanaKirilenko Mon 20-May-13 19:04:24

I live in London and we have lots of frogs in our pond and rats in the basement

limitedperiodonly Mon 20-May-13 19:29:23

My friend was woken by noises and laid terrified in bed for 2 hours convinced someone had broken into her ground floor flat and was going to rape and murder her.

When it got light she got brave enough to get up armed with the bedside lamp. Her psycho was a frog that had got in when she'd had the door open earlier and had got trapped in a carrier bag and was very angry and upset about it.

AmandaPayneNeedsANap Mon 20-May-13 19:53:30

I left London because I couldn't afford the family house I wanted. I miss it like mad but it was the right decision for us as family. I am not rural though- still in a substantial town and ruled out the further suburbs when we were house hunting.

Chocolate - personally the reason I find it hard to visit people in London is that they are all crammed into two beds/tiny three beds with 2/3 kids themselves and they can't put the four of us up. So they would like us to visit but can't provide accommodation - especially since we are at the stage where our youngest is an unreliable sleeper and needs a cot, so can't be put on a top bunk in an older child's room or whatever. So we have to get a hotel or something. Which is pricey and we can't do it very often. If I had somewhere I could stay I'd be down there all the time.

Aside from the fact that we are now near family, if I won the lottery I would move back in a heart beat. As it is I think I'd buy a nice two bed flat somewhere central to visit. Certainly long before I'd buy a seaside place or anything. I'm a townie at heart. When we left London we deliberately drove through the centre of town and I literally sobbed as we drove over Westminster bridge as the children looked baffled in the back and DH explained that mummy was just happy but a bit overwhelmed by the move.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 20-May-13 19:58:27

I grew up in the arse end of nowhere, now very pleased to bringing my kids up in London (even though my family think we are mad to do so). Plan to retire back to the arse end of nowhere when we are old

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