Knee Deep In London
|Knee Deep in London: Listen to the Knee Deep In Sound Podcasts Here|
If moving to tranquil Sevenoaks was like double-dropping super-strength valium, then a trip back to The Big Smoke is like a shot of adrenalin to the heart.London, like any drug, loses it’s impact after several years of hits. You get used to the rush. To the uninitiated – a country-dweller, tourist or infrequent visitor – the city hits you in the face with all the subtlety of a shovel. Like a tornado it sucks you in, spins you around and then unceremoniously spits you out, like the cyclone in Kansas stealing Dorothy and Tonto from their home.
The human body is a resilient and adaptable marvel. You only have to study a commuter for the evidence: after decades of the daily schlepp from the ‘burbs they have adapted accordingly. Darwin’s theory of evolution suggests that animals evolve according to their environment: so it follows that commuters adopt a hard outer shell, fixed, forward-facing gaze, and immunity to their surroundings in order to survive the tough daily grind; the dog-eat-dog fight for survival. It’s every man for himself. In short, you become hardened and immune to London – which includes its bright lights and dazzling charms, as well as the pitfalls of the polluted, overcrowded city.
But take the aforementioned human out of London for a period of time, and they soften once more. Then, when returning to the city as a visitor, rested and re-energised, the sense of awe is restored; stiff necks now fully mobilised as they crane to see skyscrapers; blinkers come off tired eyes as they open them wide in wonder.
This has been my experience. When working in the capital day in, day out, the slog of the journey and the sheer effort required to get through the day began to erode at the joy of the experience – in much the same way the sea wears away a cliff face. But now, a few years down the line and currently working closer to home, fully recovered from the exhaustion and soul-destroying monotony of it all, I’m able to return as a visitor – a tourist almost – on a purely social basis with renewed vigour. Like computers, most things work again after a control-alt-delete reboot, or by simply unplugging for a while – including humans.
I’m like a kid at Christmas when travelling into town, senses heightened in anticipation. Instantly absorbed by the madding crowd as I step off the train, the energy hits me: surging through my body like a jolt of electricity – as opposed to a baton over the head during my former incarnation as a worker ant. My head is like an owl’s: almost rotating through 360 degrees as I attempt to take everything in – the architecture, shops, restaurants, bars – not to mention the deafening noise that such a hive of activity invariably generates.
Long nights out in London take on a hypnotic state as we drift from bar to club to afterparty, carried on a sea of cocktails and chaos, pinging from one venue to the next like silver balls in a pinball machine.
|Magic Roundabout: located in the middle of Old St roundabout|
|A recent night out at The Magic Roundabout: one of my fave haunts…|
Suddenly it’s time to go home, and no sooner have the lights come on than we’re in a taxi; whisked away from the choppy murkiness of the Thames and back to the still waters and serenity of Sevenoaks. When we awake bleary-eyed to hazy recollections we wonder if it was all a dream; one glance in our wallets tells us it was not. Oh well, it was worth it, we all agree; the memories sustain us throughout the corporate humdrum of the working week ahead.
Until next time, London…or should I say, next payday…
I love you 💋
|Buy tickets to Knee Deep In London via RA here|
Tired of London, tired of life: my ever-increasing London ’17 to-do list, ticking them off as I go…
Jamiroquai at The O2
Brixton Electric (been before – good times)
Queen Of Hoxton (an old fave)
The Hoxton Pony (ditto)
Village Underground (been before and enjoyed)
The Jazz Café (saw Too Many Zooz here – great fun)
Have you got more suggestions for my London ’17 To-Do List? Hit me up!