London: Pure Filth

Guilty pleasures. We all have them. One of mine is holding warm photocopies or freshly laser printed paper against my face because it feels nice.

I’m going to tell you about a slightly weirder one.

Just before I moved to London, I noticed my northern brethren fitted into one of two camps. There was the ‘Oooooh, London, how exciting!’ type, and the ‘Oh, London. It’s so dirty’ sort.

Since I got here, I have to say I’m in both camps, however the latter camp provides me with a weird sense of overwhelming joy.

That’s because my new hobby involves seeing just how much muck I can get off my face at the end of a day in the capital.

Before I moved here, my cleansing routine consisted of wiping away smudged eyeliner with my knuckles and going to sleep, but I have firmly embraced a full cleanse, tone and moisturise technique.

I line up my cleanser, toner and moisturiser, and place my cotton pads next to it, with surgical precision, before I start the wonderful scrubbing operation. I’m pretty sure my housemates are sick of me thrusting my worn cotton pads at them and going: ‘Look! Look at how much gank is in my face!’

I briefly thought about making some sort of Dulux colour chart for comparison purposes, with shades such as ‘Bakerloo Brown’ and ‘Replacement Bus Service Black’, but maybe that’s taking it a little bit too far.

I never feel that sense of dread when I descend the escalator to the tube and hear the sound of a train just leaving. I look at it for an opportunity to get more soot into my pores. The tell-tale breeze before the next train pulls up has me facing into it like a dog leaning out of a car on a motorway, tongue out, ears back, eager for more of London’s muck to be propelled onto my cheeks.

As I wipe away the day’s dirt from my face, it’s with a sense of glee that I stare down at the soiled white cotton having conquered my dirty enemy. If this were a Hollywood movie, I’d hover over my defeated nemesis and make a hilarious quip. Something like ‘grime to die’ or ‘muck you’, but it’s not. It’s just a nice little maisonette in north London and I’m just an out-of-work journalist.

An out-of-work journalist, that is, with a spectacularly clean face.

Image by Pink Sherbet Photography courtesy of Flickr

1 Response

  1. Gemma Hughes

    I know it’s even more mucky, but it is also strangely intriguing to monitor the greyness of one’s London’s bogies – it is directly proportional to the amount o time spent one spends on the tube.

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