The final day in London had arrived. I woke up at nine o’clock, packed and was all checked-out in no time. With my suitcase, laptop bag and satchel I took some last minute pictures of the area I’d spent the last few days calling my “home” (it was actually a lovely area, despite the fact an entire office block full of people had seen me naked and there was always a sense of dread coursing through my body as I walked to and from the tube station) and clambered down the escalators and onto the Northern Line.
I went to Curzon Soho because, well, I didn’t want to go anywhere else. I wrote up some notes over a warming pot of tea and soaked up the atmosphere contained within one of my favourite places in London. I don’t know exactly why I’m so drawn to Soho, but it feels instantly like home. It’s somewhere you can be exactly who you want to be and not have to worry about stereotypes, abuse or feeling out-of-place. It helps massively when you feel like all you can do is drop on the floor and sleep for a week.
The night before I’d been alerted to the fact there was a launch event for the Glasgow Film Festival across at the Moving Picture Company screening room so, having met up with Paul once again, I trundled along as my left shoulder grappled with the ridiculous weight of my tiny suitcase and my whole body grew more and more weary. Upon arrival, I schmoozed with fellow press, was introduced to the co-directors of the Glasgow Film Festival and met some people who knew me by name (always a strange experience, especially when you don’t recognise the person who somehow knows you).
It was a lovely event, complete with free wine, orange juice and all the sandwiches you could eat. The line-up sounds amazing and I can’t wait to get stuck into covering another film festival – something that a few of the people there had said I was especially good at. The compliments all through the week had been incredible, and it made me realise how well liked I was and how much of an impression you can make by hard work, determination and being nice to people. It’s nice to know the approach I’m taking has been working.
One o’clock arrived and I grabbed my suitcase, said goodbye to a few people and set off for King’s Cross, for my time in London would soon be up. Thankfully, the train journey home was bearably quick and there was no one sat next to me, so I could stretch out as much as I wanted. I arrived home shortly after eight o’clock and after re-living my adventure to my parents and my brother, I climbed into my own bed, made sure all the windows were closed and draft free and quickly fell asleep with a smile on my face. That, boys and girls, was it.
There’s many things I’ve learnt from my time away though (I’m not going to drone on and on about them here, don’t worry), and being in London made me realise how much I want to live there, have the social life that was on offer while I was there and that I’m really not as shy and quiet as I thought I was (I’m outgoing at heart). There’s a lot that I need to do to make that a reality, and I realise it’s not always going to be as amazing as it seemed over that six day period, but it’s what I want from life. I want to live in London and this is my year to make that a reality.
I’ve really surprised myself over the past few days with my perkiness, ease at navigating such a big, intimidating city and confidence in meeting and chatting to both new and old friends. Long may it continue. Goodbye and thank you London, you’ve been amazing.