Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Living with Penelope

Blogosphere, hear me roar!

I'm not totally sure what I'm roaring about but I thought I'd kick things off with a big noise and we can go from there. That ok?

Well, I'm sorry you were expecting something a little more profound but I can't help but feel you're reading the wrong blog if that's what you wanted. Yes, this is Laura's blog. Lexx? Yeah, small one. No shoes? I thought that'd work. Cool.

So we're all up to speed? Why were you late? So far...not a lot. I roared, you guys argued a bit but essentially we've all settled down and are now enjoying each other's company. You more than me because, let's face it, I do the lion's share of the work in this shindig. Not that I mind. Oh, come on, don't get upset...but how often do you give input that isn't just in my mind? Exactly. Stop whining.

I went to Manchester yesterday. I REALLY like Manchester. It is full of excellent coloured buildings that look interesting and slightly archaic but still exciting and spiffy. Yes, that's right Manchester, I gave you spiffy. It's not as grey as London - not that I don't like London, it's just I think it can lack personality.

I'm a dedicated Southerner and I'd genuinely struggle to move up North but it really is appealing sometimes. The problem with London is that there is so much personality stuffed into here that we almost lack an identity as a community - we are the mongrel of the UK. The most popular stereotype of a Londoner is a moody curmudgeon on the tube that wears a suit and talks to no one.

I dislike this stereotype and feel that we only fall into the trap because it's expected of us. If people talked about London as being a super colourful vibrant place then I'm sure we'd let that soak into our bones and we'd go with it. Like Camden, Camden high street has really taken people's fantasies and run with it - why can't the rest of London go with that?

As an experiment I tested out whether Londoners are stuck in their rut by making sure I smiled at 5 people on the tube to see their reactions. They ALL smiled back! What a discovery! All London needs is someone to chivvy them into realising that we don't all have to play up to the mindless drone stereotype. We are dying to talk to each other and express some personality and turn our city into some kind of happy town where people don't judge us based on the behaviour of tired commuters on a packed public transport system.

And if we don't all join together and do it then I'm moving to Manchester. Fact. So, here you go - out and about today pick 5 people who look the least like muggers and smile at them. I bet they were just dying to find someone to smile at. Makes you feel like a hell of a person.

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