I have now been in my new position as a live-in nanny in Kensington, London for two weeks. I feel like I’m getting into the swing of London life now. Well, sort of…
Work wise, everything is going fine. Three-year-old Mini is definitely strong-willed and knows what she wants but she’s a sweet girl underneath all the bravado. Ten-month-old Freddie is a dream. He’s easy going and placid. His smile melts my heart.
Socially, I’ve yet to meet any new friends but it’s early days yet. People in London are always so busy and seem in such a rush all the time. It’s remarkably different to where I’m from in the West Country.
In the country, the people behind the checkouts in the shops, for example, will stop and have a chat with you. You may find out that your cousin’s neighbour’s father, goes out with their brother’s ex-wife’s neice. Or you get to hear a list of health problems. Or a review on last night’s soaps on the telly.
Not here in London.
Here the people behind the checkout rarely make eye contact. They might say hello but it’s certainly not a given. And when they give you change back it gets thrown in your hand and the coins drop.
Something I still haven’t quite got the hang of is that people don’t make conversation when passing in the street. In my village, if you pass someone you always say hello, without exception. It would be considered really rude not to and everyone just does. Often there’s a comment on the weather or some such.
I suppose it’s obvious really that in towns and cities people don’t do that. But I do find it strange when this happens: I see someone who I can see is a neighbour because they have just come out of their house, and they can see I’m a neighbour because I’m just putting the key in the lock to go to my house. And yet despite knowing we are neighbours that person purposely doesn’t make eye contact, yet alone smile and say hello.
I’m not sure I’ll get used to that. It just seems rude to me. Surely it would make everyone’s day better if we are polite and friendly to each other?
It’s different in London that’s for sure. But there’s still something about the Big Smoke that holds some magic over me. I think all the life and the fact it is so hectic makes it feel so alive. The streets pulse with energy. For me, I find it exciting. Although I understand it wouldn’t be everybody’s cup of tea.
Thinking about the differences makes me miss home. I speak every day to my Mum. I chat online with my friends and see on social media what they are up to. But it’s not the same as being with them.
I’m staying in London this weekend. My best friend Abbie was thinking of coming up for the weekend but in the end, she couldn’t make it. The family are off at their country house in Berkshire again. It’s great having this huge house to myself.
However, despite the commotion of the city outside, it feels kind of lonely in this house right now…