5 Years a Londoner

Home Seattle in Shorts

On 9 June 2009 I moved from Manchester to London, leaving the north a day early because of the threatened tube strike. Five year later in 2014, The Year of the Bus, I should point out that if I now knew how wonderful London buses were I would have stayed in Manchester until 10 June when I was originally due to move into my Tottenham flat. That move was a fulfilment of a dream that I had held since 1983 to move to the greatest cultural city on earth. At the age of 16 I went on a West End theatre trip with my school and fell in love with the city. Were it not for a romantic involvement with someone whose subject area was not well-served in London, I would probably have studied theology at Kings College London rather than Nottingham University. Instead I sojourned for 24 years in Nottingham, Belfast, Dublin, Larne, North Wales, Cork, and Manchester. Finally five years ago I fulfilled the dream and moved to London. One of the plans in moving to London was to finally kick the procrastination and complete a novel after trying to do so since 1976. Ironically I finally wrote that novel while living for three months in Seattle, because my childhood dream had been to emigrate to the United States. Sesame Street had given me an unrealistic opinion of racial harmony in America, which contrasted to the racial divisions of Northern Ireland. To add to the irony my novel Seattle in Shorts was written to bring to wider international (especially British) attention the dreadful racism of the US state that saw over 100,000 Japanese Americans locked up in concentration camps for the crime of looking more like the non-white enemy than Italian or German Americans did. I am 5 years a Londoner, those Japanese Americans were 3 years concentration camp slaves.

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