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Living and working in London

2008-07-20 22:33:01 by Stuart-Hart

Today I briefly talk about what it's like living and working in London.

I confess that this is quite a boring rant.

Living in London can be both great and bad. I think it all really depends whereabouts you live. London is a pretty darn big place, so it has it's fair share of good and nasty places to live. I used to live in a wonderful area situated close to Hampstead Heath, an extremely large and leisurable park. It sounds ridiculous, but feeding ducks is one of the more peaceful time wasting activities I love to indulge in. It was a nice quiet place to live.

Today, I live in a single roomed studio (plus 1 bathroom). I thought I'd have a go living without roommates and so far it's been a hit and miss affair. The area is more noisy, people outside are louder and there are a bunch of things that really need sorting to this little flat. I've only lived at two previous London addresses, but this one is by far the most problematic.

The biggest problem has been the walls becoming damp in wet/cold weather. Last I checked, walls are supposed to keep water out of a room. At first I thought the walls just had general scuff marks, but as time went by they got more and more worse, and ugly black mold was beginning to grow in patches. The walls have since been completely destroyed and then rebuilt with bricks/concrete and plaster. Currently, I have half a room with a half painted wall, and it looks like crap. They can't be painted until the plaster is fully dry which will be about 2 weeks from now. However, before that, new skirting needs to be put down where the walls were rebuilt. As things are now, the room has holes in the corners of the floor where mice or whatever can probably easily access my room.

Speaking of... dealing with ants is something I'll be writing down on my "not cool" list. I lifted my blinds the other day and discovered a large number of ants crawling along my window sill. A whole bunch of them had wings (future queens from what I understand), and they were entering via tiny little holes in the wood work. I spent the whole morning vacuuming the suckers and plugging up the holes with blu tack and red tape. Not cool at all...

To round off my problems, we have a fire alarm that feels the need to go off every now and then. It's been peaceful the last few nights, but the alarm for the whole building goes off thanks to an over enthusiastic smoking neighbour upstairs. It wouldn't bother me so much if the fire alarm system wasn't right outside my room, which of course makes me the #1 guy to go out and switch the thing off. It would bother me less if the guy didn't feel the need to fire up at 2am in the morning.

Other than these problems though, things are fantastic.

As I first said, I believe your quality of life in London will all depend on where you live. I have pretty much zero problems with the way the city actually operates. As transport systems go, the London Underground is super easy to use and is very reliable most of the time. All the stations work exactly the same and security is comforting there. You rarely wait more than even 3 minutes for the train to arrive. I guess the recent ban of alcohol has also made things better for some, but I never encountered any problems with drunk folk on the train before.

The whole city is very multi cultural, and any popular place you go to you're gonna see tourists. I work in a particular spot of London where there is absolutely no shortage of tourists. Not that it bothers me. It might for some, but it just seems to remind me how popular London seems to be despite how expensive it can be to live/visit here!

Yes, living costs are high. Generally speaking though, jobs pay more to make up for it, but rent is especially expensive and you're highly likely to live in a less luxurious location than you would if you were living more North of England where things are cheaper. Cost of eating out and drinking is more expensive too. Fortunately for me, I'm not one that enjoys spending all my cash on alcohol on a night out, and I like to think I'm pretty careful with my cash in terms of what food I bring home with me.

All in all, I enjoy living in London. There's always something going on and it's pretty easy to get about. Thanks to that, I'll never need to own a car, and as a result, I doubt I'll ever get round to learning how to drive. Driving lessons are freaking expensive in this city, and I don't even know how I can possibly make time for it.

Not that I work really long hours or anything... I work 8.5 hours a day, including an hour's lunch, which is pretty standard stuff. I read these reports in the paper of Londeners having to working longer hours than anyone else in the country, but I'm not sure how much truth there is to that. Do people not realise that they are probably only contracted to work a number of hours a day? If they're paid overtime and they're after that extra cash, then fine, that's totally understandable. I'm not paid for any overtime, so once my 8.5 hours are up, I wanna be out of there. And if anyone tries to force me to work longer, I make my feelings pretty clear on the subject.

Having said all this, the idea of living out in a super peaceful countryside has always been a very appealing thought to me. As things are now, I'd only take up space out there. Still too caught up in technology and the internet to appreciate my surroundings.

I have to save up some cash... buy a house... something.

Living and working in London


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2008-07-20 22:44:54

Ok. Another thing about London, is that they miss out on games that Americans have.


2008-07-20 23:20:08

I quite enjoy london whenever i visit, i dont like peaceful countryside.. i like noisy vibrant city settings and london always seems to have that in spades.

Things are expensive but something about london makes me want to splurge.

Its probably my favorite place in the world. English people sound delightful even when they are insulting you and the vibe of newgrounders on that side of the world always felt more genuine. cant wait to go back next month.

It never dawned upon me to actually consider what living in london would be like so i found this post quite insightful. Thanks


2008-07-21 02:51:44

I suggest you wait to buy a good flat or something. I wouldn't say a house for just one person but a decent/good flat should do. Or at least one better than you're currently living in. A picture of the place would be cool


2008-07-21 06:19:51

I live in the West Midlands, but love going to London. In a few months I should be able to drive and will want to visit London again, but I cant decide where and what to visit. It's almost too big.


2008-07-21 07:14:40

I agree with almost all that you said there. I visit London very regularily being only a single train ride away from it and it's always a nice place to go with my grilfriend or out with my mates. Theres never a shortage of things to do and when you haven't got any cash you can just spend the day in one of the parks such as Hyde Park where you can always find a peaceful area for yourself.

Personally I would not like to live in London because I am more into the peaceful side of England, Living in small towns where I know everyone but going to London is always a brilliant little day trip for me.


2008-07-21 07:33:54

luis, me and kevin are going to live in london.
you can pay our rent.


2008-07-21 10:46:30

Weird, them StickSuicide fools were in London the other day.


2008-07-21 12:28:49

Places Like Barnet Are Good

London Has its ups and downs just like any city

i think the crime in london pisses me off

i shit myself when a group of people are walking your way and it SO OBVIOUS they have a knife

Fuck me london....


2008-07-21 17:49:51

What is everyone on about? I love London, it's so awesome! I've lived here for nearly 10 years!