I’d planned on writing this post from a slightly different angle but, sitting here, on a day like today, it’s easier than ever to appreciate the fortunate inner city location of my house.
The rain is alternating between lousy drizzle and insane downpour, drumming on the windows in a most ridiculous over the top way.
If I need anything, or actually if I just fancy leaving the house to escape a light cabin fever and grab a hot Starbucks, I can literally leave my front door and be mere minutes from… anywhere. Minutes from the entrance to the main indoor shopping mall in NCL, and therefore minutes from being safe and dry again. Between my house and those doors is barely enough rain to even dampen my hair and wet my shoes. THIS is why I chose this house. That’s why we pay a small fortune to live here; I’m not trapped by the terrible weather the UK throws at us. (That and the atrociously high ceilings and original sash windows…)
I can take my netbook/iPad/phone/a magazine and hole up somewhere public and cosy to waste a few hours in the company of strangers. That’s what we city mice do best.
Granted I may not live in big, bad London (though I do love it there!) and I wouldn’t dare profess to have the authority on all things “city living”, especially over those who do live down south, but I wouldn’t trade living right in the heart of a city for anything, and luckily a georgian townhouse in Newcastle’s NE1 postcode comes at a slightly reduced price than that of a similar property in London! We did once try looking round a bigger house a few minutes from the city centre, in Jesmond, but my heart just wasn’t in it. It’s lovely there, they even have their own small Starbucks, but there are no indoor shopping malls. On a cold day I’d have to walk the icy streets to get to places I need to be, getting wet like normal people.
While we’re on the subject I’d rather take a bustling city break (if you’re offering) over a country retreat any day of the week. I like the places, the people, the culture, the purpose of a city. I can sit in a window with a coffee for hours and watch the world go by. Everybody with somewhere to be. And, yes, since you asked, I’m fully aware just how pretentious that may sound. But it’s true!
Each to their own of course, the hustle, bustle and ambulance sirens aren’t suited to everyone! But I feel justified in saying this, having lived in a few cities over the years, and also in the middle of nowhere in Cumbria for two years. I know I am definitely more suited to all the ‘life’ on offer in a city.
I adore having so much to do and see right on my doorstep. And it helps that when anyone is visiting NCL, my kitchen is as close as most cafés so people can just as easily pop in here for coffee. For those days when, actually, I don’t want to leave the house and venture out into the city centre. Rather I’ll just stay at home, switch on my own coffee machine like a normal person, and pretend there’s no one out there after all…