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London calling

Everything is quite surreal at the moment. As well as being manic at work, extremely happy where I'm living and quite excited about what I'm about to begin doing; I’m also going through a period of intensely missing the people and the places, the experience of my time in London and Europe last year. I know that, in the whole scheme of things, I wasn’t there all that long, but I miss it as though I was there for years.

The people who I miss, I only knew for a short time – the lanky midlander for 6 months, the crazy bedouin, 4 months, the german girl for 3 months, and the aussie girl and german boy for just 1 month each– not even, really. [Not to mention the loads of other ace people I met]. And for some reason it feels like I’ve left some soul mates over there. And 'over there' is such a long way away.

And in terms of place, as the weather turns cold and blustery, every corner I turn in Melbourne reminds me of Hamburg, or Paris, parts of London and sections of Vienna. It drives me batty.

Dan Hill and I were recently discussing Australians’ pride in the tyranny of distance, as such a huge part of our psyche and I’m starting to understand an element of it: that which is an almost physical craving of places elsewhere. Kind of like when you get a song stuck in your head and you just have to play it and play it until you exhaust it. Right now, I've got the geographical equivalent of the intro to Slayer's Raining Blood going around and around and around.

And then, in organising a mix cd swap, lord of the ad-pit, rob mortimer, asked me to describe some of the things I did while I was over there. Obviously, in the interest of providing him with some material (and not as some self-indulgent outpouring), here's my list:

Shit I miss from my time in London and Europe:

• dancing to the kooks, pidgeon detectives, the holloways and other brit-pop indie kids in nina's bedroom, eating dumplings, while getting ready to go out.

• megabus. several journeys up and down the M1: leeds, manchester x 2, plus a trip to cardiff to see the arctic monkeys - you can't make those kinds of journeys for so cheap here.

• €1 for an espresso.

• soho

• H&M. I didn't discover the true joy of H&M until i was on my way out, but it's something I wish we had here: clean, simple, basic.

• speaking in languages other than my own. there's something really satisfying about having to use a whole other part of your brain - to have to think completely differently. Perhaps that's why I feel like I've changed, because I had to think completely differently and according to Cartesian Philosophical Theory, it means I was completely different.

• The National Gallery (and the regular cups of tea in the Cafe) and the permanent collection at the Tate Modern.

• The number 19 bus and the Victoria line. (Which is why I packed it in my suitcase, but it's not much use here, unfortunately). And my Oyster card.

• Coffee mornings at the Breakfast Club and the Berwick St Markets.

• "Die nächste Haltestelle, Ramersdorf"

• Non-alcoholic beer in Germany and Austria and the baklava in St Germain in Paris and near Perrache Metro in Lyon

• The Lourve, The Pompidou, The Castello Di Rivoli, ArkitekturZentrumWien and the MAMOK.

• Running up Crouch Hill to the sounds of Banquet by the Bloc Party (the perfect running song).

• Reading properly famous people in the newspapers: Tracey Emin in the Independent, Antony Gormley in the Guardian, Nick Hornby in the Observer and I think even someone like Van Morrison in the paper one time. Oh, and Time Out.

It's a weird list, but hey, that's the nature of the beast sometimes - general and specific, expected and unusual.

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At 29 February, 2008 15:50, Blogger Rob Mortimer said...

Slayer and Bloc Party in one post... excellent.

I shall get back to the cd tonight.

I love the Pompidou centre, worth a trip to Paris on its own.

At 29 February, 2008 16:38, Blogger charlie g said...

How about a list of the things you love about where you are as well?
Or have you done that...

At 29 February, 2008 17:29, Anonymous Sam said...

We miss ya too Lauren


At 29 February, 2008 19:44, Anonymous Angus said...

I miss you too! London misses you. I hope you come back soon. Or that I get to see you in Australia soon. Unfortunately, for me at least, that feeling never goes away, of yearning for those things while in Oz, and yearning for the Australian versions while here. It sucks, but it's magical.

At 01 March, 2008 13:21, Blogger lauren said...

hey rob - thought you might like that kind of mixing.

charlie - you're absolutely right. i've been revelling in the joys of being back in melbourne, but haven't written a list, per se. on the case.

angus and sam - aw, you guys!

angus - yeah, i have a feeling that i opened a can of worms going and having all that fun. i suspect that there'll be this knawing for a while - wherever i am. ah, the life of an expat, i hear.

At 02 March, 2008 11:02, Blogger Charles Frith said...

Stop fucking around Lauren and get your ass over to the Jing. I've signed a contract on a pad by the forbidden city by Tiananmen square. Its 2000 years old baby!

At 31 March, 2008 16:09, Anonymous Seb said...

I miss my Schmock.
And Borough Market.
And Crispin's our little, shitty, Indian shop.
And the Golden Heart.
And the coffee shop at Great Portland Station.
And the small Italian sandwich place at Spitalfields.
And the occassional pint with Will.
And the 55 from Old Street to Oxford Circus.
And playlounge.
And the 40% at NIKEtown.
And much more.

At 01 April, 2008 14:07, Blogger lauren said...

now that you've done your 'i miss london list', you have to do a list of all the ace things about hamburg. that's the rules.

and i miss schmogli too!


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