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Thread: You can't beat London.

  1. #51
    Craftsman Halitosis's Avatar
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    This thread proves it's horses for courses.
    I grew up in London but now live in Scotland, which to me is better in every respect - in particular for raising kids.
    My brother (one year different in age) absolutely loves London and lives as close to the centre as he can afford (which is currently Woolwich). I struggle to understand how different our lives can be despite such similar incomes and budgets.
    I love to visit, love the buzz and energy of the city - which isn't matched anywhere else in the UK - but visiting is just so different to living.
    For living there, I can see the city can particularly appeal to the young and the wealthy

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Curta View Post
    You really got me?

    Anyway Iím a well respected man in these parts of London and tea at St. Anneís on a sunny afternoon, lazing until sunset, itís all part of my late summer and autumn almanac.


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  3. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    But what Mick is talking about isn't really London, it's the West End - a microcosm of affluence and pretentiousness.

    Real London is a city enjoyed by real Londoners, but we're not going to tell you where it is
    Quite.

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Nice euphemism.
    Beaten to it
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  5. #55
    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    A lovely church (the mrs favourite in London) and great cricket ground just across the river from me.
    It’s a nice part of the world.
    And the steam museum at the Kew Bridge Water Works, amazing Cornish engine pump.


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  6. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Nice euphemism.
    Literally crying

  7. #57
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Just driven to Harrods and back tonight to get a Black Bay. The West End and Knightsbridge is an absolute dive, sorry. I don't care how many Lamborghini's there are or how much money there is in the area, it's an awful place.

    I live in a nice pocket of a pretty average area in the suburbs and I'm much happier out here. We do like to go into London on the weekends sometimes for semi-fancy brunches (Christopher's, NAC etc), not quite Ritz level but places like Oxford Circus are hell on earth.

  8. #58
    I love living in London. I played the long game and bought in Surrey when all my friends were renting in fun parts of London and was eventually able to buy a house in a nice part of London. I do resent the extortionate price I pay for a 3 bed terrace compared to what I could get even a few miles away in a less desirable part of London or further out in the suburbs.

    I agree with earlier points that you need money to enjoy London. There may well come a tipping point in my life where Iíd rather live further out and have a bigger house, rather than living in a less desirable part of town.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by spuds View Post
    Thatíll be four of us now thenÖ..
    Make that five!

    I usually spend one weekend/ year in London and thatís enough for me. Always enjoyed the watch shops although the loss of Austin Kaye means that won't be the same anymore. I can't imagine anything worse than living in central London, I find the place claustrophobic. The parks are OK but I much prefer proper countryside. I have a golden rule that if you live more than 2 miles from a cow in a field youíre in the wrong place.

    One thing I do like is the pubs on street corners, canít think of anywhere else that has so many. price of beer makes me wince but after a couple you get past caring.

    Iíve promised myself a few trips to the museums, thatís on my Ďto doí list when normality returns. Train from Wakefield takes 2 hrs so its not a difficult trip.

    One of my nieces is a solicitor for a London firm, sheís lived in north London for the past 12 years and sheís become thoroughly Londonised and I canít see her moving back to Yorkshire anytime soon, I think she got brainwashed whilst studying at Oxford.

  10. #60
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Train from Wakefield takes 2 hrs so its not a difficult trip.
    Are you sure it's only two hours? That seems bloody quick.

  11. #61
    Proves we are all different. I moved from South West London near Kingston Upon Thames nearly 6 years ago (having lived and worked in London my whole life) and Iíve been back to London twice since, both flying visits to a relative. I really had grown to detest the place - the crowds, the prices, nowhere to park, no sense of community - and now Iíve had sufficient time away, I realise I felt a rising sense of unrest, even menace when out and about in the evenings which Iíd never felt before and I didnít want my kids to grow up there. I genuinely donít miss it at all, perhaps I wasnít wealthy enough to live in the very best areas and enjoy everything the city has to offer, but none of that would have made me feel happy to live in a place I now realise I loathed. I think Iím more of a country lad, I need sky and trees and a bit of space around me - wish Iíd moved away years ago!


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  12. #62
    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    One of my nieces is a solicitor for a London firm, sheís lived in north London for the past 12 years and sheís become thoroughly Londonised and I canít see her moving back to Yorkshire anytime soon, I think she got brainwashed whilst studying at Oxford.
    It is not just your niece, half of London never grew up in London.

    My neighbours grew up in Weymouth and Birmingham. The two houses opposite grew up in Blackburn and Cheshire. Me, I am a Scouser who moved to London in 1991 after Uni. My wife is from Hampshire. Nobody I know in the immediate vicinity of my house was born in London.

    The guys I go for a pint with near me were born in Bury, Farnborough and Washington DC.

    I like the fact that everyone is not just born and bred in the same town, like it is in my old home town.

  13. #63
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyCasper View Post
    You really got me?

    Anyway Iím a well respected man in these parts of London and tea at St. Anneís on a sunny afternoon, lazing until sunset, itís all part of my late summer and autumn almanac.


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  14. #64
    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Are you sure it's only two hours? That seems bloody quick.
    He's probably right. It's 1 hour 40 mins from Doncaster which isn't that far south of Wakefield. Who knew Yorkshire was practically commutable?

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    Are you sure it's only two hours? That seems bloody quick.
    Around 2hrs 8mins.

  16. #66
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Around 2hrs 8mins.
    That's insane. The annual cost will be eye watering.

  17. #67
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    London good for a two day visit but Iíd hate to live there. I genuinely despise the tube, horrific when itís busy

  18. #68
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    London is a great place. I worked in Soho for 20 years and loved it 1996-2016 . Monday to Thursday weíre going out nights. Friday and Saturday were for the tourists who thought going to London for the weekend was cool with all of the other tourists. If you really want to see London go on a weekday and walk about . Youíll be amazed how small it is rather than getting the tube.

    Helpful tip for the day is -if you have to go to Harrods to get a watch from some arse end suburb get the train and underground as driving is about the worst ever especially during the summer holidays on a week day or jump on a motorbike.
    Anyway London is cool until you have kids Ö then you move on to another nice little city like Bristol and semi retire :)


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  19. #69
    Master Onelasttime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by walkerwek1958 View Post
    Around 2hrs 8mins.
    I had no idea. Why the feck do we need HS2 then?

  20. #70
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    Absolutely love London for the buzz,restaurants etc
    To live there and bring kids up no chance.
    I'd say London and Edinburgh are the 2 contenders for best cities in UK.
    For best worldwide my favourite was Capetown but changed days there.

  21. #71
    Grand Master wileeeeeey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stilgoe1972 View Post
    Helpful tip for the day is -if you have to go to Harrods to get a watch from some arse end suburb get the train and underground as driving is about the worst ever especially during the summer holidays on a week day or jump on a motorbike.
    I'm a one minute walk from the train but I'm staying away from public transport at the minute.

    On days like today I miss my motorbike. Would have been ideal.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by wileeeeeey View Post
    I'm a one minute walk from the train but I'm staying away from public transport at the minute.

    On days like today I miss my motorbike. Would have been ideal.
    A motorbike in London is a wonder to behold. Any bike, doesnít even need to be fast, you just need your filtering head and hazard awareness head on at all times:)


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  23. #73
    I'm also in the 'love London' camp, but I've enjoyed every part of the UK I've been lucky to visit.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onelasttime View Post
    I had no idea. Why the feck do we need HS2 then?
    HS2 is more about capacity than speed.

    Maybe the working from home revolution will change the demand for rail capacity radically?

  25. #75
    Lived in London a long time ago, in areas like Notting Hill, Kensington, Holland Park and Knightsbridge. But also places like Plaistow and Elephant & Castle. As with most large cities, the perception varies based on the "village" you stay in. For visitors and tourists, there is an overwhelming amount to see and do, but it's not the same as living there.

    I was left a bit depressed by London when I last visited, pre-pandemic. It was summer, I rented rooms in Knightsbridge, and it was horrible. Things barely worked, attitudes were bad, the streets filthy and the nights noisy with all the new-money showing off their wealth.

    Greenwich was as nice as ever - London parks are superb in the summer, and the museums unbeatable (the V&A being my favourite in the world). But I was desperate to return to Tokyo. A city that can make others seem parochial, unrefined and dull.

    Of course, having said all that, there remains nothing to beat a splendid evening in London prior to taking your companion up the Shard.

  26. #76
    Grand Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tokyo Tokei View Post

    Of course, having said all that, there remains nothing to beat a splendid evening in London prior to taking your companion up the Shard.
    Very well played Sir

  27. #77
    Grand Master learningtofly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stilgoe1972 View Post
    A motorbike in London is a wonder to behold. Any bike, doesn’t even need to be fast, you just need your filtering head and hazard awareness head on at all times:)


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    Agreed - it's a game changer. I love filtering round the city, for some reason... it takes a different set of skills, but they are skills nonetheless.

    As for the comments about the West End, nothing better than brunch in Marylebone Village on a (normal) Sunday morning. By bike, of course.

  28. #78
    Grand Master snowman's Avatar
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    Never been a fan of London, especially for working, it's just a drag, imo.

    I've never lived there (not strictly true as I did for the first year of life!), but the extreme cost and crowdedness would never have any appeal for me. I'm certainly not in a position to buy a 'nice' property in London and if I was, there are plenty of other places that would appeal far more.

    That said, if I lived anywhere else but the UK, I'm sure it'd be on my list of cities to visit, there's plenty to see and do there, if you just have time to amble about.

    Now and then, I'll travel to London for events, but I wouldn't say they are any better than similar ones in venues outside London.

    I guess if you're a theatre-goer, the bigger stages in London venues may offer a better experience (I recall going to see the Dr Dolittle stage show in Woking and the set was a subset of that shown in the programme), but generally, for music (which is usually why I go) smaller venues are better - Who wants to be up in the gods at The O2? Just wait for the DVD to come out and you'll get a better view!

    Luckily, aside from a couple of short contracts and then a job where I visited the office there maybe once in 3 weeks, I've managed to avoid having to work in London, but those periods were enough for me.

    Maybe if I'd moved to London for work in my early 20s, I'd have felt different, but even then I had the chance a couple of times and it didn't appeal.

    To be honest, I suspect any big city (NY, Paris, LA, etc) will be just the same. Smaller ones, like Munich or San Francisco, have a different feel and I prefer those.

    Quote Originally Posted by noTAGlove View Post
    It is not just your niece, half of London never grew up in London.

    My neighbours grew up in Weymouth and Birmingham. The two houses opposite grew up in Blackburn and Cheshire. Me, I am a Scouser who moved to London in 1991 after Uni. My wife is from Hampshire. Nobody I know in the immediate vicinity of my house was born in London.

    The guys I go for a pint with near me were born in Bury, Farnborough and Washington DC.

    I like the fact that everyone is not just born and bred in the same town, like it is in my old home town.
    Half? I reckon it's more like 90%!

    Maybe it's the 'greener grass' syndrome - I was born in London (albeit not living there long as I said) and never really liked it much! My father was born and grew up in London, working there until he was 40 and his company relocated to Bournemouth, he never wanted to move back. My Mum, born and bought up in Staines when it wasn't just part of the sprawl, always thought London was great and wanted to move back!

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    Last edited by snowman; 29th July 2021 at 08:30.
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  29. #79
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    I wouldn't particularly want to live in London and on average I once worked out that over a 40 year period I spent and average of 8 days per month commuting in and out of London, so to me it was fine.

    Higher salaries paid in London, cheaper and nicer properties out in the sticks and able to clear the workload on the train, so overall the best of all worlds.

    I think the main point is that you can see and do anything better in London than almost anywhere else in the world and that is why the super rich always have a base in London.

    You could, if the fancy took you, pop into London to view a stuffed Rhinoceros in a museum (try doing that somewhere else) and then take stroll around an interesting shop such as Liberty and then have a decent meal afterwards. Whatever you want, London gives you a tremendous choice.

    The main disadvantage of being in London is the pollution but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I can remember working in Newgate Street in the 1980s and when I got home back in the sticks the collar on my white shirt was almost black and the place has smartened up considerably.

    I still reckon London is a place we should all be proud of.

  30. #80
    I love London. I'm happy to not be commuting in every day though & I certainly wouldn't want to live in town.

    Competing cities for me would be Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, Prague & Rome but I've only visited those briefly as a tourist.
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  31. #81
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    We are all different and want different things. Like most commuters, I tended to sit in the same carriage on the same train at the same time and over the years got to chat to a few other commuter. One guy who was a couple of years older than me was born in London and left school at 15 working as an office boy in a Bank and over the years worked his way up to a regional bank manager and thus earned a good salary. When retirement beckoned, he sold his London house and bought a cottage in the Cotswolds which was a chocolate box picture type of place and had a pile of cash left over so had a couple of tasty cars and a Harley to while away his time when retirement finally came.

  32. #82
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    ‘Cheaper and nicer properties out in the sticks’. Really? Do you know how much a house costs compared with London salaries? Where are these ‘sticks’. Lewisham. New cross, streatham, on and on, always prices moving ahead of your salary.
    Well, I do. I moved to London with a job 40 years ago and life was one long, relentless, struggle, even with decent London pay. Long hours, endless night shifts, struggle to hold a competitive job, Everyone, I mean everyone, struggled for years just to get by. The lucky ones inherited money from their family. Virtually no-one could simply buy a nice family home. City life is not like that.
    The struggle was ferocious. Those who made a life in London know the truth of this. It consumed lives.
    Again, don’t romanticise the tough truth, or the sheer numbers of people who struggled for years. Ever competed with (say) twenty people for one flat in Balham? I remember it well, too well. I lost, it became too expensive. That sort of experience becomes ‘normal’.

    Been there, done it. London is never an ‘easy touch.’ It’s a grim,unyielding, place. It is full of highly privileged people and a lot of poor , struggling, people. Like one giant ant hill. I enjoyed life in London for forty years but I’m under no illusion…
    Life on an easy subsidised post office is not the reality for most. Sorry if this sounds fierce. But how about some opinions based on lived experience? There are millions of souls in London. Very few found it easy.
    Last edited by paskinner; 29th July 2021 at 09:46.

  33. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    I wouldn't particularly want to live in London and on average I once worked out that over a 40 year period I spent and average of 8 days per month commuting in and out of London, so to me it was fine.

    Higher salaries paid in London, cheaper and nicer properties out in the sticks and able to clear the workload on the train, so overall the best of all worlds.

    I think the main point is that you can see and do anything better in London than almost anywhere else in the world and that is why the super rich always have a base in London.

    You could, if the fancy took you, pop into London to view a stuffed Rhinoceros in a museum (try doing that somewhere else) and then take stroll around an interesting shop such as Liberty and then have a decent meal afterwards. Whatever you want, London gives you a tremendous choice.

    The main disadvantage of being in London is the pollution but it is nowhere near as bad as it used to be. I can remember working in Newgate Street in the 1980s and when I got home back in the sticks the collar on my white shirt was almost black and the place has smartened up considerably.

    I still reckon London is a place we should all be proud of.
    But to really enjoy, take full advantage of that choice, you need wealth. Also while higher salaries are paid there the trajectory of housing costs bear no relation, even 6 figures only gets you modest square footage anywhere considered liveable. The liveable places are often surrounded by less salubrious areas with the potential for violence and criminal damage to cross over. I was stabbed, for being white, not a couple of hundred metres from home...the wife was chased and blocked in at a traffic light and then spat on by the occupants of the other vehicle, envy/ racism we could only conclude...I was once attacked by a guy, a neighbour actually, when the wife had the temerity to take the empty, on street parking spot in front of his house, foreign chap he had the affrontery to call the wife east european trash...for the life of me I don't know how/ where he got that from. Hard to be proud of a place where depending on location and circumstance there's so much simmering potential for hate and violence.
    Honestly it's an exciting place, pretty much anything you can imagine is there for the having, we had some great, wild times in our 20's and early 30's but once children became a possibilty, it was a no brainer to seek more peaceful, more liveable pastures.

    And agree with the point paskinner makes, for many/most it's a tremendous strain just grinding it out through the years, the commute alone can be a total pita.
    Last edited by Passenger; 29th July 2021 at 09:43.

  34. #84
    Live in London - by 'in' I mean zone 3 south of the river and been here on-off c 15 years. It's a hugely flawed place - like any properly big city - but the jobs here and the tech community are amazing and can only really be rivalled by perhaps San Fran/Silicon Valley, which I also tried and hated. You think London is dysfunctional, San Fran is on another level. I tried NYC for a few years too because it fascinated me with the neighbourhoods, the real mix of 'business' areas and residential and sometimes all mixed up. But again, it wasn't really for me so I came back. Boston was much more fun but felt very small.

    The biggest issue I have with London is the terrible planning decisions chucking up all manner of terrible buildings, particularly in the City that has really ruined the look and feel of the place and now, with more people going remote, aren't going to be in such high demand. I avoid the West End at all costs - terrible place.

  35. #85
    Master wildheart's Avatar
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    Loved it in the 60's, 70's and 80's worked there for 25 years went to college in Hackney in 74. I don't recognise the place now. I suppose its improved for the better, its certainly cleaner.

  36. #86
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    Sitting in the beer garden on a sunny evening at the Ailsa Tavern, I always felt a sense of "is it really worth it" watching the lads and lasses trudging past at 7pm as they walked home from St Margaret's or Richmond railway station, twice I had the opportunity to work in London and twice I decided nah, - it's good that we all see things differently, I enjoy our occasional visits but that's where it ends.
    "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action."

  37. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    You could, if the fancy took you, pop into London to view a stuffed Rhinoceros in a museum (try doing that somewhere else)
    Edinburgh


    Paris


    Brussels


    Sofia


    Ontario


    Mumbai


    Tring!


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  38. #88
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    Pah a stuffed Rhino you say, our little burg, forrin at that, even got a real one,

    https://cartagenadiario.es/ayuntamie...urismo-seguro/

    Mick does talk some tut, bless him.
    Last edited by Passenger; 29th July 2021 at 10:14.

  39. #89
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    The wife and daughter are there currently staying off Oxford Street at the Rock Hotel and done a show . I was asked to go but dont like the place one bit and have stayed at home amongst the chaos of two bathrooms being refitted . They will be arriving home toady to said chaos and may want to scarper back to the smoke

  40. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger View Post
    Pah a stuffed Rhino you say, our little burg, forrin at that, even got a real one,

    https://cartagenadiario.es/ayuntamie...urismo-seguro/

    Mick does talk some tut, bless him.
    You are becoming a right sourly old git recently.

    Ok I want to go to see a Rhino, a leopard, a cheetah, an armadillo, an anteater and a stuffed gorilla all on the same same day. I then want to shop at somewhere like Harvey Nicks, have a walk around something historical like the Tower of London or Westminster and finish off with Afternoon tea. London is, without doubt, the best place to see something like all that within a relatively small distance of each other.

  41. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    You are becoming a right sourly old git recently.

    Ok I want to go to see a Rhino, a leopard, a cheetah, an armadillo, an anteater and a stuffed gorilla all on the same same day. I then want to shop at somewhere like Harvey Nicks, have a walk around something historical like the Tower of London or Westminster and finish off with Afternoon tea. London is, without doubt, the best place to see something like all that within a relatively small distance of each other.
    Chuckle, I can have my moments like anyone.

    I feel a strong sense of been there ,done that, bought the T. Shirt with London and our own...mine and the wifes', particular experiences of gritty urban life will inevitably colour the years spent there.
    Most of our friends left either prior to or once they'd started families, interestingly proportionally more of our gay friends still remain, obviously no kids to think about will be a different perspective, also some of them haven't yet moved beyond hedonism and London has that in spades, so fair enough.

    I'm happy you and Mrs Mick enjoy your visits, as noted for the well heeled tourist who likes to shop, there's plenty available.

  42. #92
    Seen one rhino, seen them all.

  43. #93
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    You can't beat London.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick P View Post
    We are all different and want different things. Like most commuters, I tended to sit in the same carriage on the same train at the same time and over the years got to chat to a few other commuter. One guy who was a couple of years older than me was born in London and left school at 15 working as an office boy in a Bank and over the years worked his way up to a regional bank manager and thus earned a good salary. When retirement beckoned, he sold his London house and bought a cottage in the Cotswolds which was a chocolate box picture type of place and had a pile of cash left over so had a couple of tasty cars and a Harley to while away his time when retirement finally came.
    Different world nowÖ. Try getting onto a train due to over crowding . If somebody speaks to another person they are considered a freak.Ö Train manners are very different now. Definitely never pick up a phone call on the train unless you want daggers from everyone around you. I donít miss the train journeys into Victoria or Waterloo on the odd occasion that I had to use tha5 mode of transport.


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    Last edited by Stilgoe1972; 29th July 2021 at 12:25.

  44. #94
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    A great place to visit and an even better one to leave.

  45. #95
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    Worked in and around London all my life. Hate the place. When I get home I feel dirty and head straight to the shower. Tokyo (and Japan in general) is cleaner and safer, as is Singapore.

  46. #96
    Een neushoorn in Amsterdam.



    As for London, I worked there for 12 years. It has many advantages, especially if you have a lot of money, but I found it too frenetic by the time I reached the age of 35.

    Of course Samuel Johnson produced his quote in 1777, I wonder if he would say the same now?
    Last edited by dkpw; 29th July 2021 at 12:45.

  47. #97
    Craftsman SydR's Avatar
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    I prefer my cities to be a bit more compactÖ.. like Edinburgh.

  48. #98
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkpw View Post
    Een neushoorn in Amsterdam.




    Of course Samuel Johnson produced his quote in 1777, I wonder if he would say the same now?
    London has has always had its supporters and detractors. Think William Cobbett who was just as respected as much as Samuel Johnson. His Rural Rides is a must for anyone who as even the remotest interest in English attitudes on life during Johnsons time.

  49. #99
    Master
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    London is one of those few truly global cities , you can study and pursue almost any career or discipline to a world class standard.
    That is a key hallmark of a genuine global city rather than just a big town.
    It is a magical and impressive place filled with more amazing things to see and do and discover than you could possibly manage in many human lifetimes.

    I prefer Singapore though cause itís got a hooters

  50. #100
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.D View Post
    London is one of those few truly global cities , you can study and pursue almost any career or discipline to a world class standard.
    That is a key hallmark of a genuine global city rather than just a big town.
    It is a magical and impressive place filled with more amazing things to see and do and discover than you could possibly manage in many human lifetimes.

    I prefer Singapore though cause itís got a hooters
    London has the Griffin
    Pound in a jar, and a kicking from the bouncers if you get too friendly

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