I spent a full day in our capital yesterday and as I walked to find the venue for my conference in the early morning sunshine, walking past the British Museum, I pondered that we had maybe missed out never having worked in a big city as I often like to play ‘what if?’. It was buzzing as it woke up and was coming to life and the sun was shining over some beautiful old buildings. Just two hours later I re- traced my steps and the streets were heaving with people to step around and the traffic noise and fumes were unbearable, so I changed my mind.
That would have been a very different life, one of a work and commuting focus. A life of endless shop- bought sandwiches for lunch- egg mayonnaise butties most days eaten at my desk no doubt -rather than nipping home for beans of toast and a quick dog walk. Working late and then going out for drinks with colleagues from work, rather than cycling home via the sea front. The work content could have been the same but the culture would have been very different I am sure. I have worked for the same company for over 26 years and I suspect that I would have changed employers a lot more if we lived in a city. We would have been paid higher salaries but it would have cost us so much more to live there, so that would have evened itself out .
Joshua would have had access to superior choice of healthcare provision and a wider choice of schools I suspect, but he too would have spent more time travelling.He would have seen much less of us during a standard working week as in order to afford to live there, I would not have been able to afford the luxury of part time hours. He may have been exposed to more museums and theatre opportunities but I suspect that if you live in London you probably do not access those distractions very much, in the same way as we do not go to the beach everyday ,even though it is on our doorstep.
On balance I am sure that our parallel lives in London would have been no happier, but more stressed, less healthy and more remote in many ways than we are now. I have no intention of moving now so this was simple, idle speculation.