I am now an urbanite. Well, kind of. For all my life I’ve lived in the country: the housing estate where I grew up – indeed, where I was born – backs onto fields. Three minutes driving in my chair would bring me to lanes and hedgerows and the smell of manure. Every day, growing up, my trip to school took me past fields full of cattle, sheep, or crops.

Yet now, I’m surrounded by miles of concrete and tarmac. I’m not complaining about this: in fact the prospect of exploring London excites me; but I find it odd to reflect on the fact that, for the first time in my life, I’m living in a place without a field or tractor in site. Even alsager campus was surrounded by farmland.

I’ve already taken my first steps into my latest brave new world. I’ve been making trips to the local shop and back, but the other day, armed with an electric door key so I could let myself back in, I set off on my first real voyage of exploration. We’re reasonably near the O2 arena, so I decided I’d try to find that. Lyn gave me directions, but I must have taken a wrong turn as I couldn’t find a pub I knew I needed to pass. Interestingly for history buffs, I did find Shooters hill road, which was strategically significant during world war two as it would have been the road the Germans would have taken into central London had they invaded.

Anyway, this afternoon we’re off to the shops – I need more cash – and tomorrow I start a voluntary post at a local school. I’ll let you guys know how I get on, and whether I see any cows.

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