It feels slightly formal to be writing to you like this, but I had to put this on the record somewhere. I wanted to tell you that I appreciate everything you've done for me over the past 26 1/2 years and I wanted to thank you for helping shape me. You've made me love humanity, in all its varying forms. You've made me fight for the things I consider to be important and I've defended you whenever people have made disparaging comments. I've walked your streets, the ones by the river and the ones in E3, and I've known that I've been part of something. Something much bigger than myself and my life, and you gave me a better understanding of the world. More importantly you gave me the aspiration to improve it.
You taught me perseverence and the patience to cope when things don't go your way. Don't get me wrong, this particular lesson is familiar to anyone who has tried to use the Tube on the weekend recently, but you learn to accept what you can't control and find solutions to problems. I like to think I approach life in this way, or at least I try to.
You confused me when you elected this buffoon as Mayor, I think you took your foot off the brakes on that one. That was the job I wanted one day. I told people I wanted to be at the heart of you, improving the lives of real people in a city that I love. That's not going to happen now because I'm leaving you. It feels wrong to tell you like this but I've found a new place that I'm going to give a go for a while.
It doesn't mean I don't still love you, and I'll visit whenever I can, but my heart belongs to someone else now. I know there will be days when I'll be longing for the grime of Aldgate or the tranquility of Hyde Park. I'm sure I'll long for your greasy spoons and your old man pubs. And when that happens, it will remind me that wherever I lay my hat, in my heart I'll always belong to you.
Love H xxx