I post a lot of outdoors content, so people forget I actually live in the middle of a major city (London). Some of my friends find this very curious, and say things like “I don’t know how you can live there”, “all the people would drive me crazy”, or “if you like nature so much then surely…” - which are all valid points. I get it. It seems contradictory. Most people I know who really like the outdoors, really dislike cities. But my exploration has never been confined to one environment. Plus, I was born in London and raised on cities - I feel like they run in my blood.
I’m addicted to - as put by F. Scott Fitzgerald - the “inexhaustible variety of life”. That's a me thing, and it might change in the future. So far, I’ve always felt like a walking tug-of-war between the different aspects of my personality. I could never settle on just one thing; in fact I could never settle at all. I enjoy the anonymity offered by a big city. So many people to discover, or, conversely, to never know at all, but whose lives I simply imagine as they walk by in a giant concrete theatre. If you wanted, you could be a different one each night.
It’s far from perfect, and it’s not beautiful in the way that way nature is. But it is fascinating, and as an artist I find a different kind of creative inspiration in it. London is in perpetual motion, steeped in history, full of character. The only place that ever came close to it, for me, was New York (as a result my second favourite city), another immense laboratory of dreams and fears (and the BEST PIZZA EVER). So, for anyone who ever asked me “why?”, well... that’s why!
“All cities are mad, but the madness is gallant.”
- Christopher Morley