I have always lived in London so I have not known anything else! I’d say growing up in London can be tough. Depending on where you live I suppose. We used to live in Peckham on an estate and then we did a transfer to just out of Peckham (we was council) which would be considered as a little nicer.
Growing up, I was never really allowed to to play outside. I never really questioned it. I just accepted it to be honest. I feel like I lived in a relatively safe neighbourhood (I’ve been watching YouTube) even though I would hear sirens around us.
Having said that, I have four brothers, one who has been robbed on a bus on the way to school, one who has been bottled in a pub and one who has been beaten up in a park. Also, Miles has been robbed as a teenager on the way home from a party for his chain and money. None of them are small guys either.
I’ve had my face cut with a broken CD on the way to school from a girl around my area, had fireworks chucked at me on a bus, been harassed for my phone number (which may not sound bad but when you are literally made to give out your number it is not cool).
I was made to feel like a thief when going into my local shops when I was a school kid because only two school kids were allowed in at once!
At every house party, you had to worry about people gate crashing it and I really had been at a party that was gate crashed by bricks being thrown through the windows which was a rather jarring ending to an 18th birthday party of Miles’s cousin. At another party we went to, loads of boys knocked down the door and raided everyones pockets and the house hold drawers (bullshit).
Of course I was not entirely innocent. I was at the park on the weekends pretending I was at my friends house and my friend was pretending she was mine when actually we was doing an all nighter with some adult drinks (Sorry Mum). We always regretted this decision at 3am in the morning when we were freezing (Why did we always do this is the winter?).
The point I am getting to, is does the good out weigh the bad?
The good: Living within minutes to a 24 hour shop, a chicken shop that sells two burgers and two chips for £2, living within a multi cultural environment, getting your nails done for a tenner, having a wide variety of restaurants to visit (even though you cant always visit them cuz ya rent so high bae!!), being able to grab a cab any time you want to, being able to find a party every day of the week (I used to party A LOT), lots of travelling abilities (even though the trains are expensive and always late). There are heaps of amazing things in London, especially for kids.
But there are so many bad things. Its got way worse, or more publicised maybe. There has been around 85 killings this year (that are reported) in London through knife crime. There has been way more stabbings as well and is that something we really want our children growing up around?
It doesn’t really matter where you live in London. There are of course better areas than others but if you are travelling around you will probably travel through a not so good area. It can happen to anyone.
I know the benefits of living within London seem great in some ways but reality is I avoid certain places at certain times. I do not like going on the bus late in the evening. I drive to the majority of places because I cant be bothered to get any hassle.
I know some of you may be thinking, there is trouble everywhere. which granted there is. But at this rate? I mean there was three killings this weekend in different places and one very close to our home. I try to sensor what Milo sees on the news (news round is great btw for kids) but when there are flowers on the street with loads of cards he questions why?
I question myself: Is this really the right place to be raising two young boys? Would I be ok with Milo travelling around London on his own? But equally, would my children be wrapped up in cotton wool if they were raised outside of London?
London is all I have known, I am not entirely happy with it but there are parts I love about it too!
Is the grass greener?