I USUALLY dedicate this space to tackling the “hard issues” facing us in London, but today I’d like to look at some problems that have actually been solved by moving over here. It’s easy to look back on your life back home as the picture of perfection when you’re eating a frozen £1 pizza on your new kitchen floor. But don’t be fooled by your rosy memories – it wasn’t all sunshine and buttercups back home either, and there are plenty of little issues that have been resolved by your move to London.
One of my favourite things about living in London is that you don’t need to justify being pale. With the bleach-blond caramel-skinned stereotype that precedes Antipodeans abroad, it’s hard not to raise eyebrows if you’re naturally pale skinned and perhaps a little too melanoma conscious. Thankfully this city provides you with the ultimate cover, just drop a sneaky, “I live in London,” and all questions turn to sympathetic nods.
Besides feeling free to sport a worrying lack of tan, London is also a great excuse for dressing along the grey scale. Some people just don’t suit the bright colours and floral patterns popular back home. The problem is that when you live by the beach you can’t exactly step out in blacks, navys and charcoals without being accused of being a Goth or part of a funeral party. Happily this problem disappears against London’s grey skyline where we actually see the tables turn – after all a bright yellow sun dress and Havaianas can’t help but seem a little awkward in an 18 degree summer.
That said, I don’t want to discourage any die-hard “flip-flop” wearing fanatics; another problem solved by moving to London is that anything goes. From whole-face piercings to tattoos and thigh-high lace-up boots, green tinged hair and only half shaved heads; nothing is too crazy for this city. There are just so many people and so much diversity that there is no normal, so even if you were used to looking like the local circus sideshow back home, it’s hard to feel out of place here.
Another huge bonus that comes with this city is one I’m sure all you ladies will enjoy: your makeup stays on longer! It’s far fetched but I assure you I’m not off my rocker. Away from the blistering Pacific sun, there’s no fear that makeup will sweat off throughout the day, meaning no more runny eyeliner or blotchy foundation – hallelujah! It’s also true that if you live by the coast or anywhere rural, you tend to attract unwelcome glances if you head out during the day with even a touch of smoky eye or dark lippie. Thanks to London’s gloomy backdrop and alternative scene, you can go as over the top as you like and if you’re lucky, even pass as “fashion forward”.
My last but probably most cherished London solution comes from the cold. It does cause a few problems in itself, but the cold weather makes the perfect cover for indulging in those guilty sweet treats, and I’ve been caught more than once scoffing down a sticky toffee pudding for lunch. Don’t judge, it was cold out!