diamond geezer

 Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dear Londoner,

It is with great regret we must inform you that your membership of London Above is under threat.

As you'll be aware, London Above is the lifestyle brand for the discerning Londoner, an acknowledgement that the capital is your oyster. You can dine in it, play in it, shop in it, even own part of it, because you're one of the privileged residents with the capability to consume. Your wealth allows you to play a full part in the economic prosperity of the capital, which as we know is a far more expensive place to live than the hinterland beyond, and your ability to spend helps keep everything ticking over.

But we'll be honest, we're worried.

We've been keeping an eye on your spending over the last few months and we've noticed you're not throwing as much of your money around as you were before. It's been well over a month since you last sat down in a dining establishment and ordered brunch, and well over two since you last bought a round of cocktails for your friends. Your gym membership has expired, no West End theatre seat has seen your backside in ages, and it's even longer since you hailed a taxi rather than walk half a mile down the street.

We're concerned.

A well-known cider brand organised a pop-up launch in Hackney Wick last month and you failed to attend. Your most recent trip to the cinema was somewhere cheap on the outskirts, mid-afternoon, rather than taking full advantage of the plush seating at a boutique screen. When Secret Cinema last came to town, and played for weeks, your credit card somehow didn't register. Heavens, it's National Burger Day today and you haven't even made plans to visit Patty & Bun, let along downloaded the voucher.

Taken separately these individual failures might not be an issue, but a pattern of economic inactivity has been building up, and we don't approve of what we see.

We suspect you might have been buying alcohol in the supermarket, like poor people do, rather than visiting a regulated establishment to enjoy craft beer in convivial company. We think you might have stayed in to watch a boxset, worse still the telly, instead of watching a one-off screening of an 80s movie on a makeshift beach on top of a carpark. There are even rumours you might have been for "a nice walk" somewhere in Zone 6 rather than spending the afternoon at Westfield and grazing between purchases.

You could quite frankly be living in the North, for all the use you're making of London's commercial gems. Your mantra needs to be "Eat. Drink. Shop. Repeat." otherwise this city is going to the dogs.

It's no good simply walking around the capital and admiring it, you have to chip in sometimes. Sure, Kensington Church Street and Broadway Market are great for window shopping, but if you don't stop off to buy some trinkets or grab a burrito, the local economy is losing out. And yes, Clerkenwell is fabulous, but how much more fabulous to cough up for an all-you-can-eat crawfish party, book yourself into a handicraft workshop or pay someone to point out where the street art is.

We recommend you pick up a copy of Time Out, the weekly style bible of London Above, and work your way through several of the activities listed within. Book a ticket to a festival, not necessarily music-based but maybe one of those where they serve one particular kind of food in a warehouse for fifty quid. Browse some vintage clothing, curate a martini, spend the Bank Holiday at an expensive nightclub, source a pop-up blueberry pancake - these are all the things that make London truly great.

Embrace your smartphone and the opportunities it can bring. Use Deliveroo to bring great takeaway food to your door rather than walking down to the shops and buying it for less. Keep an eye out for retail apps which offer quick and easy ways to spend even when you're trapped somewhere dull like a park or a library. And seriously, we've noticed you haven't even downloaded Uber to your phone yet, so no wonder your London Above membership is hanging by a thread.

We hope you haven't lost your job. That would be perfectly ghastly, and would terminate your membership of London Above overnight.

Have you considered downsizing your home, or moving in with friends, simply to increase the amount of disposable income you can spend? And even if you don't have money you should be spending it anyway, what with interest rates at record lows. Embrace a hedonistic lifestyle for today rather than worrying unnecessarily about tomorrow, as all the smart Londoners are doing.

We hope you'll make amends.

As such we shall be closely monitoring your spending for the next week, and all you have to do to prove your worth is to buy at least one gin-infused cocktail before the end of the month. It shouldn't be hard, pretty much every important social event is gin-based these days, and that single purchase will prove to London you're serious about living here again.

Teetotal Londoners should be aware we'll also accept purchase of any avocado-based organic smoothie, or any slice of gluten-free stonebaked pizza. But should you choose to ignore our request we'll have no choice on September 1st but to downgrade you to London Below.

Imagine how membership of our sister organisation would ruin your life. So many Londoners live in relative poverty, with nothing left after the bills have been paid to enjoy a regular cordon bleu feast or even a flash night out. It's true, they do the menial jobs that keep the capital moving, indeed some are even successful graduates who simply can't afford the rent. But don't let their badge of economic worthlessness be your destiny, sign up for a baking masterclass today.

Modern life is less about possessions and more about experiences, and a great experience is going to cost. So get out and about, spend and live. London's counting on you.

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