Dr Johnson never had to wait forty minutes to be wedged in a stranger’s armpit on the tube – a daily occurrence for any of us who happen to live in that vast, vomitous mass that is sneeringly referred to by the wealthy as 'Sarf London’, even if parts of 'Sarf London’ are more expensive than truffles sprinkled in gold and served on a platinum plate with diamond detailing.
He never had his toes broken by a wheely suitcase, and he was never sworn at by a cyclist who careered into him after running a red light. Had Dr Johnson come to London now, he would have been completely exhausted by it. People would be shouting blue murder at him as he slept-walked slowly through Victoria Station; they’d be elbowing him out the way as they raced to be swallowed whole by the tube.
I share many of the sentiments of this piece as I head out of the smoke to my decrepit county pile each Thursday or Friday evening. But, the truth is; It's not that 'London is over', it's that Bryony (& I) are older.