London, where all the jobs are…How will a Geordie lass cope in the big smoke

London changes you. You start listening to Icelandic ambience on vinyl

Now, if you’re called Rich – you might want to stop here. There’s more than just bird shit coming for you. I’m Emmie, I’m 24 and from Newcastle. J’adore le foot. Ou est les piscine?

I moved to London 6 months ago because ‘it’s where all the jobs are’. The new-life-motto, ‘defecate on the Rich’ was a graffiti tag I saw in my first few days of London life. Capital R and all. I certainly followed through when, that night, I went to a gig and nipped to the loo… Sitting on the uncomfortably warm seat I looked up to see a club night poster advertising: ‘4 Jägerbombs for £20!’

I’m from the place up north that does three treble voddies for a fiver.

I’m a journalist. Well, I write for women’s magazines. It’s my dream job. Yet I’m sitting here writing/picking at ingrown hairs in my £1,000pm 2 bed flat in my mam’s purple size 16 knickers she donated to me, an Adventure Time t-shirt and three-day unwashed hair.

Luckily, I have a roof terrace, a Polaroid camera, grew rosemary once and my Southerner plaid-clad fiancé has a beard. This morning he found mouse shit on the table when we ate stale giant crumpets.

Millennials, eh.


I’m here to tell you about my experiences as a small toon girl living the London dream.

What they don’t tell you about the capital citay is that your bogies are black, and the bankers in Canary Wharf do coke at lunchtime.

London changes you. You start listening to Icelandic ambience on vinyl, grinding coffee beans and paying attention to politics.

Your WhatsApps are left unread for 3 weeks straight – you’ll probably die before you see a distant friend who lives in London now.

You think £17.50 for a bottle of house white for happy hour is a bargain, you have sex once a week and go to cafes with flat cap-wearing friends – where the only entertainment are board games.

My guilty pleasure is glee-Tweeting when my ex boyfriend views my Linked In (…okay, he’s done it once.)

Those seconds before stepping on the tube is like when the Morrisons bakery reduce their bread. There’s that silent tension of everyone clenching their sphincter, bracing themselves. And if anyone barges into you, they’ll whisper sorry as if they’re ashamed to be courteous.

In 6 months I’ve lived through 2 terrorist attacks, had someone threaten to stab me, fell through a train gap and got used to guys holding hands with their girlfriends being perverts.

And only called my nanna once.

So, as I drank a salted caramel espresso martini out of a baked beans tin, I decided to write about life in London town where all the jobs are.

After all, this small toon girl is living in a lonely world, taking the midnight tube anywhere – alreet?

Words – Emmie Harrison

Follow Emmie on Twitter @emmieeharrison

Photos by Mike Barry

The article originally appeared here 

Since you’re here …

Real, independent, investigative journalism is in alarming decline. It costs a lot to produce. Many publications facing an uncertain future can no longer afford to fund it. This means journalists are losing the ability to hold the rich and powerful to account.

We do not charge or put articles behind a paywall. If you can, please show your appreciation for our free content by donating whatever you think is fair to help keep TLE growing.

Every penny we collect from donations supports vital investigative and independent journalism. You can also help us grow by inviting your friends to follow us on social media.

Donate Now Button

Leave a Reply