You will probably not be surprised if I tell you that I am collecting all sorts of books on London. I recently bought Craig Taylor's one. The full title is: " Londoners. The Days and Nights of London Now- As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It." The book presents a fascinating kaleidoscope of life stories told by people who happen to live in the British capital at a certain moment of their life. They share their feelings about it, their struggles, frustrations and passions. It is the careful selection of the interviewees and their stories that makes the book so captivating and fun to read.
Who are these people? They come from all parts of the world like Jane, a political refugee from Uganda or Farzad, who came from Iran after a long and dangerous journey. Ethel, an old pensioner says: "I've been here so many years, I've picked up so many friends. I think there's something here in the East End. It's all different nationalities..."
They are involved in essential part of our daily life such as Emma, the voice of "Mind the Gap" who tells us how she was selected after a long process and Nicky the taxi driver who explains in details how to remember the names of the streets in order to pass the "Knowledge" to operate a black cab.
They have all sorts of professions from the traditional ones such as the estate agent, the teacher, the barrister or the artist to the less usual ones such as the beekeeper, the crematorium technician or the aboriculturalist. They are in contact with the though reality of London such as the grief counsellor, the nightclub door attendant, the squatter, the paramedic or the funeral director. They are at different stage of their life like Lucy the mother, Toby the student and Ethel the old-age pensioner. And, they reach a point where they can not stay any longer such as Rob, the antique clock restorer wo says: " London is like any other kind of addiction, really. You get 5 per cent entertainment out of it, and that makes you suffer through the other 95 percent of it. I'm at the breaking point now..."
Smartie, a former City trader who turned into a taxi driver says: "I like the idea of escaping all the nonsense of London, but you know what? My heart and soul are here in the city, really. I think that's where I'll always be".