I am often asked what I miss about my former life in London. Friends aside, the list is as follows:
1 M&S foodhall, M&S foodhall, M&S foodhall (in particular, the organic vegetable section).
2 Pret a Manger cappuccino and the daily ritual of a 20 minute walk to Ken High Street to get it.
3 Shops that don't close between 12-2.00pm.
4 Alexander Technique sessions with Noel Kingsley.
5 Pilates at Alan Herdman's studio (Pilates does not exist in my patch of France).
6 English newspapers. If you can get them at all, in my region, they’re at least a day old and never with supplements.
7 Sunday lunch in the Haverlock Tavern.
8 Impromptu drinks with friends in hotel bars or the Haverlock Tavern.
9 John Lewis kitchen department.
10 Autumn leaves in Hyde Park.
11 Invisible exercise – you forget how much you walk in London, and how many escalators you run up and down in a day, without even noticing it.
12 Car parks with parking spaces big enough for you to park your car and get out of it, without being sandwiched against a pillar.
Et voila. These are the things I miss - but fortunately, not badly enough to move back. I must ask some of my French friends living in London what they pine for from home.