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Winging it in the Big Smoke


I first felt the urge to move to London when I returned from a 5 year hiatus after leaving school, much of which was used to find the freedom I had so desperately craved. Travelling far and wide and as far away from home as I could.

Moving there I remember being totally unprepared, no job, no support structure, no place to stay, only a backpack and a guitar.

I found myself down to the last couple of quid on a couple of occasions and having to turn to an Uncle for financial help. The WORLD economy had just gone belly up and I was walking the streets looking for a job in London without so much as a CV.

My first job was pulling pints; eventually got a summer gig as a gardener but my social life was still empty. I found myself turning to the dark side more and more now that the evenings where long and with nothing constructive to do with them.

It is easy to see how so many migrants to London can develop self-destructive habits, and find themselves on the wrong side of a mental illness through not looking after their physical and emotional wellbeing.

My saving grace was the fact that I had an Uncle who I was close with, and was quite an active guy who enjoyed Running, Swimming and Cycling.

In Hindsight I wish I would have had the sense to plan it a bit better, and done a little more research before moving somewhere like London. For me the spontaneity of the move and the lack of planning was the challenge but I was on a rocky road towards the end and was glad to be going home.