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This reminds me of something I've wanted to ask you for a while.

You and yours obviously live in Central London. Z1 without giving too much away. Which is unusual for someome with a 5 year old.

We have a 7 monther, and we're steadily growing out of our flat. Contrary to how most people think, I'm growing more and more in favour of moving further in, rather than further out. Surely it's better to live near where you work and get to see your kids once in a while than all that Kent commuting bullshit? Take Coin St as an example?

I'd love to know what someone in a similar position / similar industry thinks. Is this to personal a subject for a blog? Let me know if it is and i can email...

hello Ben,

I'm happy to answer that. We do live in W1. Feel very lucky to do so. We paid (what seems like) an enormous amount of money for a tiny flat with no garden or anything. And it's one of the best decisions I think we've ever made.

I can walk to work in about 10 minutes. Total commuting time per day (if I don't come home for lunch) about 20 minutes. (Not including popping into Borders on Oxford Street for a browse.)

Our other options were probably a bigger flat in Camden or Clapham or somewhere or a small house further out. Total commuting time, easily an hour, probably more, no coming home for lunch, no popping into Borders, lots of public transport, stress etc.

Arthur goes to a really interesting, incredibly diverse school that's only 5 minutes away. Anne can cycle to work. We hardly ever have to go on the tube. We can pop to all sorts of museums and stuff dead easily. I can work late and still get home in time for Arthur's bedtime. Or I can come home, do some bedtime and then go back to work. (Though as Anne will point out, I never actually do that.)

The only downside is the pokey flat. And we can cope with that.

(Though we're very lucky because we get to go up to the Peak District a lot at weekends.)

Does that help? Drop me an email if you want to know more.

I think the larger point is - you've got to move all the way in, or all the way out.

That's exactly what I was hoping you'd say. I like to think we don't have to follow this predetermined pattern in life just because that's what everyone does. Once in a while we can stop. And. Think. And then, hey, there is a better way...

My wife and I both have jobs that will always be in Central London. So it seems silly to move "out" where you get the worst of London; commuting, crime, high prices, and the worst of the country; no culture, no decent restaurants, no 24 hour stuff.

W1 it is then. Or maybe SE1 for a bit...

Hello Ben, I'm Russell's wife, Arthur's mother, etc. The only thing you should be prepared for is that your child will grow up thinking it's perfectly normal to go to Yo! Sushi, and to have Hamley's as the local toy shop. I think that's a small price to pay though.

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