05
Oct
09

Stuff I’ve done – and people I’ve met – in London

As my stay in London comes to a close I’ve naturally been reflective about my UK adventure.

I’ve been thinking about all the excellent live music I’ve seen; that’ll be an upcoming topic for my other blog, The Plummet Onions. But I’ve also been thinking a lot about the associations I’ve made here: all the people and groups that I’m now connected to, and better for, simply because I moved here in February 2001.

The most important of all is obviously my amazing wife, whom I met in November 2001. There are also the really good friends I’ve made via that relationship, flatmates and friends of hers, people that I now count amongst my best friends: PC, the She-Aussie, the Colombians, and others. We also have some good friends in the Neighbours. I’ll leave it at that, since – despite appearances – I don’t actually live my entire life on the internet.

I’ve made some good friends at work here: the Scotsman, the Other Scotsman, and the Other Other Scotsman (see the trend?) especially. There are definitely some folks I’ll keep in touch with, and Facebook and LinkedIn make that easy to do.

It’s important to say that I’ve kept in touch with my closest friends back in Canada since moving here, and that’s not going to change. We never talk as much as I’d like, but I get to see them now and again and we email all the time and I know they read my blog. I’m not letting them go.

There are also some groups I’ve connected with that have resulted in some really good times and friendships here in London. One of those was Echoing the Sound, a Nine Inch Nails fan discussion forum. I was quite busy on there for a few years during the productive recording and touring period for NIN. I’m not on there much anymore, but the common thread of the band meant I got to know some new, cool people all around the world. And the London shows meant I got to meet a lot of them here for lots of Good Times™.

A couple of years ago I also started attending thlbme London Blogger Meetups because I felt a little isolated in my blog writing. It was a small group when I started, but under the guiding hand of Andy Bargery it’s grown into a waiting-list, sponsor-pursued social networking event. I’ve gotten to know lots of good people via that gathering. Andy’s even been kind enough to ask me to say a few words at my last LBM tomorrow night.

The LBM has been a gateway for some other fun, friendly, and beneficial associations, particularly with Qype UK. If you read this blog you know that I was getting invited to a lot of food, fun and drink events with them. They’re a very good gang of folks as well. And that in turn has spawned occasional invitations to food and drink blogger events with Relish PR.

And all of those channels have spawned Twitter connections, some of which have turned into real-life connections of various types.

Some of the things I’ve been involved with in London have been temporary, of course: not everything produces life-long friends. I really enjoyed the many evenings I spent at Birkbeck College getting my Certificate in Philosophy, and the few weeks I spent at the London College of Contemporary Music learning to play the bass guitar.

People often complain that it’s hard to get to know people or make new friends in London. And maybe that’s true, relative to other places where people are less guarded. But it’s certainly not impossible to extend your network of acquaintances, and maybe even make some real pals.

You’re ace, London.

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