The unexpected phenomenon of a shit weekend

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Maybe it’s me looking at New Zealand with rose tinted glasses but I can’t remember having a really shit weekend there. I remember sad weekends, exhausting weekends and those oh so amazing boring staying in pajamas weekends, but no truly shit ones.

This weekend was just rubbish. I had so much that I needed to get done and didn’t event manage to tick a single one off the list. I needed sleep so badly but failed miserably, which meant that even though I did fun stuff I was crabby and dazed the whole time. And of course being London I had a public transport fuck up that turned an hour later into me throwing a hangry tantrum and crying on the street. Classy.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this is a London phenomenon? Why can’t I remember any of these shit weekends in New Zealand? In London it’s not that we live for the weekend, cool stuff happens every night of the week. I think it’s the general busyness, the exhausting nature of London, which puts pressure on the weekend. By the time Friday night rolls around you not only want to catch up on life admin, but also see friends, do something cultural and get yourself together for the week to come. Oh and if you are a blogger LOL BLOG POSTS.

London is damn exhausting. No matter how much you try to explain this from someone back home they just can’t understand it until they have come over. In London everything takes effort, even more so in winter. You can’t just pop to the supermarket and do a weekly shop, it has to be planned over a few nights so you don’t have to carry all your heavy stuff home at once. And if you want to go to a big supermarket (rather than a tiny local one) that might mean two types of public transport and a twenty minute walk in the rain. It’s just part of life, but it takes so much more energy than just hopping in a car whenever you want.

My hangry crying on the street tantrum? Yeah you wouldn’t get that in NZ. On Sunday I wanted to try and salvage my shit weekend so decided to treat myself to brunch at a café about 20 minutes’ walk from my house. Now, because I wanted to be kind to myself I decided to get the tube there rather than walk, it would only cut about 5 minutes off my journey but would take FAR less effort. That was all fine and dandy until I got on the tube, the doors closed and at that point heard “This train will not be stopping at Whitechapel today because of Cross Rail works”; fuck you Cross Rail. So I ended up in Shoreditch, tried four cafes (all full), found another (ignored for five minutes so I left) before finally walking back to the original café near Whitechapel only to be told the chef had left half an hour ago.

To summarise for the non-London set: that is me allowing myself to be lazy because I was in a bad mood which actually resulted in me walking for over an hour, not getting any food and crying in the street because I was in such a bad mood. This shit just does not happen in NZ. A) The cafes are not that busy and; B) if you are driving its far less bodily effort to try out the different options.

I think that might be it really. Imagine that effort across an entire week. Every commute sandwiched under the armpit of a stranger. Standing for an hour pretending to surf on the District Line while trying to not breathe in the coughs and sneezes of the stranger on the other side. And that’s just the commute. Every day in London is exhausting, and I think that is why I put so much pressure on my weekend. It was like the shining sun peeking through the clouds. I was going to get shit done, catch up on sleep, see my friends and somewhere in there enjoy myself too. Lol, London says no.

I love this city but when you are tired (and hungry) it is so hard to remember that. As I was trying to stop crying on the street corner I looked to my left and saw a man pissing on a door in broad daylight. Thanks London, way to redeem yourself there.

I know 100% that this is just a temporary crap storm. Its one weekend out of so many happy, productive, coffee fuelled gorgeous ones. One weekend to remind me to not take the goodness for granted, one weekend to remind me that sleep is all important, to not be lazy, to book at restaurants and to never trust the tube at weekends.

If you are new to London and experiencing the shit weekend phenomenon for the first time, just look back on it with Monday morning hindsight and think ‘well that was a dumb chain of events’. Don’t let one (or many) shit weekends make you hate the city, or make you feel like you are failing. Just fucking do better next time.

 

The unexpected phenomenon of a shit weekend

7 Comments

  1. January 18, 2016 / 5:01 pm

    Oh, these definitely happen in NZ – I remember struggling in the bad weather, hauling stuff up hills & delays that you can’t get away from.
    Also, get your bulky groceries delivered every few weeks then just pick up snacks as you go – it’s a lifesaver!

  2. January 18, 2016 / 8:37 pm

    This definitely wraps up how I’ve been feeling about London lately, just, exhausting. I feel like I never catch up on myself as there is always a million and one things to do and be and it takes an hour to get anywhere and ugh. I think my 3 year London anniversary has finally been when it hit!

  3. Charlotte
    January 20, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    London is the most exhausting shit, and noone ever tells you this before you leave. I look back on NZ life as this easy, comfortable, manageable albeit stale, isolated and boring haven. Also I drove back home because it’s Auckland / NZ and you fugging have to. Driving makes life easier in a lot of ways. I’ve totally neglected myself and cried on the way home waiting for my bus, leaning against the bus stop. It’s a thing in London. I remember when I first moved over here 9 months ago and I couldn’t believe how f’ing EXHAUSTED I was just doing menial life admin tasks, and worried that this would be my life here, an exhausted mess. Thank goodness you get over it, or learn to adapt and life gets easier here. I only just feel like life’s getting somewhat manageable here. Also I realise it’s exhausting because a lot of us come over alone, without a bf/gf/family etc. Not having that immediate support group to prop you up is damn hard and tiring but also makes you realise how strong you are. London is exhausting but I wouldn’t trade this manic place for anything right now.

  4. January 21, 2016 / 6:31 am

    Just remember when you’re feeling like shit after a weekend like this, that it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you’ll look at the place you call ‘home’ with rose tinted glasses. You’ve actually reminded me of a few of London’t downsides because recently I have been waking up in the blazing heat, feeling far too preggo and hot, travelling to work in terrible traffic with mental drivers that shouldn’t be on the road and working in a strange environment where nothing is in order or predictable like in England. Believe it or not, I have been pining for the tube, the cold and busy brunch spots with a bit of life in them! Being an expat is hard no matter where you are. Good luck, you can get through the rut!!! 🙂

    Polly xx

  5. Gemma
    January 24, 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I’m not an expat, but I am from a tiny Scottish island so it’s as good as(!) and I find London exhausting too. Definitely. I’ve been here for almost 4 years now, whaaaat?, and it’s just as tiring. Some weekends you just have to hide on the sofa with Netflix and large glass of wine.

  6. February 7, 2016 / 5:18 pm

    I find life in the UK exhausting. I’m a Brit but have lived abroad and I think that living back here is far more exhausting than in other countries. And I drive – so I don’t even have the transport stuff you have. I do have rude and bad drivers, however.

  7. March 30, 2016 / 3:18 pm

    One of the reasons I don’t live in London is because I find it so exhausting just visiting. Living there would wear me out completely!

    On another tack, you do know that all the major supermarkets let you shop on-line and deliver to you home. Makes such a difference!

    Brian.