I haven’t allowed myself to do many touristy things yet. All that is on my mind right now is finding a place. I’m lucky to have a great place to stay, but I can’t set up a proper working space here and so I can’t take on any new work. Of course I’m feeling more full of ideas and inspiration than I have in months, and can’t wait to start hustling for work instead of hustling for accommodation.
The kind of place I need is important – it will be where I sleep and where I work, so it has to be pleasant enough to spend a significant amount of time in. Wooden floors (or at least, no carpet, ick) and a good window are top priorities. I’d like it to be in a neighbourhood that offers the best of London living if at all possible because I’m here to enjoy myself, though since commuting isn’t a factor for me I’m being openminded when it comes to location. It is all a tall order to find on a bohemian budget, though I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that rental rates are fairly comparable to Toronto. Considering it is early days in the search yet, I understand logically I need to be patient. Still, having a room of my own is important, so naturally it is an all-consuming obsession.
Since this is all I really think about, my impressions of London are so far limited to the pitfalls and perils of renting, the relative advantages of various locations, the challenge of navigating an unfamiliar transit system, the grim November sky, and of course trying to satisfy my vice of choice: good coffee with cream. None of these things really gives London a fair chance to win my heart. I thought that landing here would be like landing in New York, that overwhelming sense of a big city running high on adrenaline. The feeling I have is totally different and still not defined, and I think that has as much to do with my frame of mind as the city itself.