"I once sat next to a woman at dinner who asked me where I lived. When I replied, London, she frowned and said, how simply ghastly for me. "It's an awful place, absolute hell. I hate going there, the people, the traffic, the tube, the dirt. You must be dying to escape."
"Stung by hearing my beloved home so abused I asked where she lived. Gloucestershire, she replied. "How ghastly," I said, "it is an awful place, absolute hell, I hate going there, the people, the horses, the filthy lanes, the boredom. You must be dying to escape." How extraordinarily rude, she said, and turned away for the rest of the evening.
My London is one that Gloucestershire can never love. I do not spend my time in the city, as most non residents do, enveloped in crowds, shopping and fighting public transport (which is not that bad). I see a city of local streets enlivened by corner shops, bustling pubs, children going to school, parks, squares, museums, theatres. It is a place of calm, if you want it."