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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?

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.

holmessweetholmes Mon 20-May-13 18:57:47

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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