What is this ultra cosmopolitain box that I have fallen in?

If you had asked me 5 years ago where the last fucking place I wanted to live was, it was London.  The reason I would have said would "It has everything I hate about Toronto amplified"

Well, I still feel that way after I've been living here for 1 year.  This city is toxic.  But I'm glad that I spent my year here.

A year and a half ago I decided to move here.  Things with my Worldly Savages lineup in Toronto were starting to stagnate and I didn't want to cling to any of it, I wanted to move on and keep going on the journey.  I decided I needed a music centre.  I decided I needed it to be in Europe.  I decided that I need place where I could get a visa to work legally quite easily.  I decided that I wanted to see what London was all about.

So I came here.

Immediately upon arriving, the stress of the place overwhelmed me. I had visited before always on my way to Europe.  I was always noticing the toxic tense atmosphere, but this time it was something I had to let within me and deal with it. 

So I started on my journey.  It was a rough start.  There were good signs all the way, but it was a rough start.  I didn't want to get a full time job (I thought I was allergic to them, still do).  I did freelance computer repair work.  The problem was there wasn't enough of it.  I was subcontracting for 3 companies, but there wasn't enough work.

Finding band members took time.  I found Ivo first.  We resolved to make something happen.  Then we tried a drummer, but he wasn't committed enough.  We were just trying to figure out how the hell we could find a violin and accordion.  2 months of that.  Not enough work, not enough band members. 

Around the end of October, me and Ivo decided, we're doing this.  We're booking a tour of Europe for April. We started working on it.  Then by the end of November we found the people, Jonny, Yula & Seppi.  We were ready to go!  European booking confirmations were coming.

Then, I realized, after all the work to get the band together, I now had to find some way to stay in London financially.  So I got this job doing IT support for a structural engineering firm.  Yep, a boring office job, 37.5 hours a week.  AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaa  the very thing I hated.  I was to start January 3rd.

I took a quick trip to Canada at Christmas, which was emotionally rough, but now I see necessary to get me ready for what was to come.

I got back, partied for new years with Yula on a 3 day binge and then I started my job. It was hard to get used to. 

The started playing live on Friday the 13th of January, Serbian New Year's eve in, YEP, Belgrade, Serbia.  It was after only 8 days of work.  That weekend with my new bandmates in Belgrade was so amazing, two gigs surrounded by great people.  After the second gig we went straight to the airport and flew back to London.  When I saw the British passport control I started crying at the fact I wasn't in Serbia and I had to go to the job the next day.  It was horrible.

And so we powered on.  Playing gigs almost every weekend in the UK.  Britton Vincent arrived in March for 6 weeks.  Taking 3 weeks in April off of work to do a playing every day tour of Europe.  Things grew in a wonderful way.  Still that part of me though knew that this lifestyle was ultra temporary.  I wanted to live in Belgrade and I wanted to do it with this lineup.  So I started pitching that idea.  It worked.

SO now we're taking a short break, before coming back to London to practice for 3 days then play a gig, then traveling all over Europe to end up in Belgrade and spread out and make an album.  It's great.

I'm sitting here right now.  It's the last day of my job.  I'm done in 2 hours.

I'm going back to Toronto tomorrow for 10 days, my friend John Hall, who I have known since I was 4 months old is getting married and I have to be there.

It's all going to be great.  I'm building my ideal life, one step at a time.

All I know is I have to get away from London now.  This was great, but it took as much from me as it gave me.  Mission successful for sure.  But this city is not a place where my soul can breathe for an extended time.  It's stressful just being here.

But thank you London.  See you soon, but only for visits.

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