Comparing Richmond with Neath

Over the Christmas period, I spent some time back in Wales seeing family and friends. On returning to 'The Smoke' it got me
thinking about the many differences between life in London and life in South Wales.

Being brought up in Neath, I was a bit apprehensive about moving up to London. My expectations were of a permanent smog
hanging over the city, loads of traffic everywhere and very little greenery.

However, despite the traffic living up to expectation on occasion, we were lucky enough to settle in the Richmond area. To be honest, we couldn’t really have found a nicer area. With Richmond Park just up the road, there’s plenty of green space (complete with deer) to go wandering.

One of the things that did make my eyes water is the cost of housing. For almost twice the monthly rent of a four-bedroom house
in Neath, you only get a two-bedroom flat in Richmond.

I really don’t like thinking about the amount of money we’ve spent on rent in the four years we’ve been living here. And then there’s the cost of living. There’s still places in Neath you can go where you can get a pint of beer for less than two quid. So, to be forking out a fiver for a pint in London was a real shock to the system!

It’s not all bad, though. I really love my food, so the number of independent restaurants and different cuisines you get in the
London area is absolutely fantastic.

You don’t have to rely on the usual chain restaurants and, in a couple of weeks, we’re off to a local Italian restaurant that has had rave reviews. There’s a two-month waiting list and you don’t get a menu as such. They cook a number of different courses using whatever fresh ingredients they’ve had in that day and they just bring out the different courses.

I’m really looking forward to trying it out – should be a completely different dining experience.

The other big plus about living up here is the sheer diversity of entertainment – you’re not just limited to a couple of pubs or the

Theatre, comedy clubs, burlesque shows, you name it – you can have a great night out.

Eventually, when my playing days are done and we’re thinking about starting a family, we may well move back down the M4, but until then we’re enjoying what London has to offer.

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