When a man is tired of London…he moves to Chesham
My wife and I sat down last night and decided, quite rightly, that it’s ‘insania’ for us to be paying £1,500 each month towards our landlady’s mortgage. And for what? For the pleasure of living in a small 1st floor, 2 bed flat with a sliver of a kitchen and disagreeable neighbours? So that we can say we live in Muswell Hill and enjoy the raised eyebrows of other Londoners who live in less salubrious areas and are quietly impressed with our postcode? All this and not even a f*cking tube station? Where do I sign up I hear you ask?!
Moving to London all those years ago was a lifestyle choice. Quite rightly, one should take full advantage of everything that this ugly beautiful city can offer; the social life, the culture, the career ladder, the like-minded people, the energy, the history blah blah. Basically, who doesn’t want to drink overpriced craft beer in a pop-up bar located in one of the bleakest parts of south east London?
Is this what the future holds? Chesham town centre
Anyway, as soon as you bring a baby into the world, all the advantages of living in the Capital become irrelevant in an instant. I hate to break it to all you expectant parents but you’re not going anywhere for AT LEAST two or three months once the baby arrives. Then, you can look forward to stolen moments in the pub after work at best, forcing as much beer down your neck as you can before you and your partner start trading passive/aggressive texts:
“Hi, you are on your way back yet? You said you’d only stay for a couple.”
“I thought you knew it was Nick’s leaving do?”
“I’m just getting hungry and I’m tired after looking after the baby all day.”
“Fine, I’ll come back now…”
The fact is, as new parents, you’ll spend most of your time within four walls watching Netflix or sleeping; so those four walls should be as spacious as possible. And maybe they shouldn’t cost almost half your monthly wages to rent (up to 59% of a typical London family’s income is spent on rent, a study by Shelter revealed last year). Maybe with a garden thrown in? If you think you’re getting that in London then you’re sadly mistaken my friend.
A shithole in Camberwell will probably cost you £300k to buy now
So that’s it; I’ve become a cliché. I’m a man who is tired of London and therefore, tired of life. Well fuck you Dr Johnson. I’m sure London rents were more affordable in 1755 but we live in a society predicated on predatory capitalism and unless your rich parents bought you a little flat in a shithole like Dalston back in the early 2000s, then you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place.
When you have Champagne taste and beer money there’s not much left to do but go cap in hand to the in-laws for a deposit, hand your keys back to the letting agents, and head out to the Home Counties.
To be continued…