Sunday, 31 July 2011

May be I'm a Londoner

When I first moved to London to begin University London seemed like a completely alien world compared to my hometown in Gloucestershire. However, after nearly five years in the city I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. During the time that I have lived in London I have begun to notice that Londoners are unique and that the differences between non-Londoner and Londoners is striking. Over the last few weeks I have mentally begun to compile a list of 'you know you're a Londoner when' situations most of which seem to revolve around public transport. If there are any that I have missed feel free to add them in the comments box.
You know you're a Londoner when:
1. You hear that there is a delay to your service due to 'a passenger under a train at X' and rather than thinking 'aww poor person' your thoughts are more along the lines of 'selfish **** why didn't they go through themselves in The Thames rather than screw up my commute'
2. You see tourists as a massive annoyance simply because they walk so darn slowly and have no idea where they're going.
3. You come across people who just don't get the 'go left, keep right' system on the tube and consider them worse than tourists, especially when you're late for work and they're slowing you down.
4. You're amazed when someone talks to you on public transport. You're even more amazed when they continue the conversation for the whole of your journey even though you've only been giving one word answers.
5. You get pavement rage. Like tourists, people who walk slowing are terrible and you're anger levels get so high that you think they're only walking with a stick so as to wind you up.
6. You're amazed if you have to wait longer than 3 minutes for anything be it a tube, a bus, your morning coffee or the bill in a restaurant.
7. You're no longer surprised by anything, especially if you regularly travel through Camden Town. Odd piercings, tattoos, brightly coloured hair or people wearing underwear as outer wear no longer register on your radar.
8. You're amazed by the sight of anything green and begin to feel just a little agoraphobic when you walk through a park or a heath.
8. You get offered drugs, a free newspaper or food vouchers almost daily.
9. You see celebrities on the tube and are no longer amazed by the fact that there is someone from the TV near you. Instead you begin to get a bit snobbish about who it is that is near you; 'Is that Ed Milliband across from me? Ugh, wish it was David Milliband or Boris Johnson *sigh*'
10. You consider Charity Muggers worse than Tourists, slow walking people or chatty people on the tube. Especially when they try to prevent you from getting to the Tube or MacDonalds.
11. You're shocked by how cheap things are outside of London and feel oddly superior about the fact that you pay £7 for your pint in your local but £7 for a round in a non-London pub.
12. You have an Ipod volume battle with the person next to you on the Tube and consider it to be perfectly normal.
13. You get freaked out by silence and darkness. The fact that you can't hear traffic and that somewhere isn't lit confuses you.
14. You're amazed when shops keep 9-5 opening hours and wonder how people can function when they can't buy milk at 4am.
15. You consider the highlight of a night out the conversations you have with fellow intoxicated Londoners on the Nx bus home. Especially if they are drunker than you and think that you're famous.
16. The fact that you actually have to go to a specific location to do something is confusing. 'What do you mean I have to travel to X for my nearest bank?! Why isn't there a branch on my road?!'
17. You start to get out your Oyster card when you get off the tube because you know that if you search for it any closer to the exit someone is likely to punch you for time wasting.
18. You're amazed by anyone who does not own or know what an Oyster Card is.
19. You consider anything outside of the M25 as 'The North', or in some cases anything north of Euston Road.
20. Despite all of the things listed above you honestly believe that London is the best place in the world and anyone who lives anywhere else must have some kind of mental problem. In short, 'may be I'm a Londoner that's why I love it so...'

Saturday, 23 July 2011

R.I.P Amy Winehouse

According to the news it would seem that singer Amy Winehouse had died at the age of 27. Early reports on The Telegraph Website and BBC news 24 state that it was from a drink/drugs overdose. In all honesty it is a shock that she is dead, but the cause of death is no surprise.
For as long as I have been aware of Amy Winehouse as a musician I have been sadly aware of the fact that she had a weakness for alcohol and drugs. When the London Lite was still in circulation images of her on nights out often graced the front pages and her reputation for partying was infamous. As a fan of her music, and only being a few years younger than her, I did hope that she might be able to turn her life around but in this case it seemed her addiction was just too strong.
Amy Winehouse is not the only star to die young from substance abuse. Amy now joins Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrisons as stars who only made it to 27. Amy will probably be best remembered for her song 'Rehab' in which she sings about how 'they tried to make me go to rehab, but I said "no, no, no"'. In hindsight Amy clearly should have said 'Yes!' Video below: