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When a man is tired of London, Dr Johnson said, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford

If Dr Johnson had been a millennial, he might have instead said that when a woman is tired of London, she is tired of not having a life, for there is in London a lot that life on the salary of anything but a successful hedge fund manager can’t afford.

I love London, at the right times on the right days - when I’m up so early that no one else is around; the rain isn’t hurtling down the back of my collar and up into my shoes from a broken drain; 10 minutes after I’ve beed paid and feel momentarily like a solvent adult; or when the flat doesn’t look like a toddler has spun through it on a high-destruction setting.

When we’ve snuck the last table for brunch at Salon, five minutes around the corner from the flat, one of my favourite restaurants in the world for unpretentious but creative and delicious food that hasn’t been put together with tweezers. When I’ve manned the resistance against the dictatorial tones of the alarm clock and hauled myself out from the duvet in a manner so slovenly it’s almost embarrassing, yet I can still be in the office in 35 minutes. Or when I leave the office and the city lights are at their most seductive as I walk under Big Ben and over Westminster Bridge, and I’m surrounded by all the friends who have chosen to root their lives here.

But the privilege of living in this big, exciting, smelly, cosmopolitan, poisonous, brilliant city comes at an extraordinary cost. To people’s lungs, their living spaces, and holy hell their bank accounts. And, if they ever hope of owning a home, often their ambitions.

We'd like some space – for books, for breathing, for ourselves. We'd like not to live on top of and beneath and squashed in by neighbours on a street where the luxury cars belie the fact that the drug deals outside the house are just as frequent now as when we moved in, and I'm still a bit twitchy about walking home alone in the dark. We'd like a house that we own, that isn't subsiding into a river under the street, for a mortgage that doesn't cripple us as far as the financial horizons. We'd like air that doesn't stink of weed at 8am on the way to the office, or vomit at 11pm after a late night (probably also in the office). We'd like not to hear the party next door at 4am, sirens at 5am, planes at 6am and a city roaring to life before the Today programme has really got going

 And so, the time has come, for The Writer and I, to put into boxes all the tchotchkes that come from melding two lives into one shared flat, five years of books and seashells, pictures and wooden elephants, wellies and favourite jumpers with the moth holes in the elbow, and bid farewell to the city where we met, fell in love, decided to get married.

We're not cutting off ties completely – we'll be here to work, to see friends, to make use of the hard-won Hamilton tickets in the months ahead. But it won't be home. And not because we're tired of this infuriatingly wonderful city – but because we're waking up to the possibilities that lie outside it.

This post first appeared on Against Her Better Judgment, please read the originial post: here

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