Big fan of the West - have lived in Chiswick, Ealing, Hammersmith, Kingston and each has their own positives. The biggest drawback is the transport system - its the reason I left...
If you're looking to retain the best of both worlds, a direct line in to london from <say> Kent can do that. I spent a couple of years in Sunny (always) Harpenden.. could see fields with horses from my bedroom and was in the city in 40 minutes from the station... (cf St Albans)
Am now living in Bristol, with a walk to work and as much cider as I can shake a stick at.
I did my FLM in 99. I said at the end that that was it for Marathons.. I have applied every year since (but been rejected :=(
There are many fond memories for me but 2 stand out..
The support of strangers - I was struggling with a thigh problem at mile 24 and was given some fantastic encouragement by a spectator. Also I got chatting to a fellow (struggling) Whizz Kidz (charity) runner soon after and we helped each other run to the line. The euphoria of achievement. Each year in the early 90's I used to get up and watch the marathon with my sunday morning hangover as I got fatter and fatter. Each year I said, "I could do that" as I wolfed down my frosties. So in '97 I gave myself 2 years to do just that. I struggled to run for a bus. Crossing the finishing line 2 years later I was almost in tears as I realised that you can achieve anything you put your mind to (to paraphrase eminem). I think I may have peppered my version with a few four letter words, but you get the gist.