Thursday, August 01, 2013
And now, back in Scotland, I try to ignore the rain that has teemed down all day and the depressing gloom that still envelopes the view from the study window and remember how, in the midst of the sun and heat and busyness of the weekend, I kept saying how I couldn't cope with living in London. For all that I was brought up in a big city and for all that I enjoy holidays in hot, sunny places, the business of ordinary life in the heat of a city defeats me. It may make life feel simple to be able to head out for the day in a t-shirt and crops; it suits me fine to wear sandals all the time; everything tends to look better in the sunshine; I can down pints of lager and glasses of Pimms and feel equable and relaxed ... but it's hard work, and even harder when you have to brave crowded trains and hordes of people.
Mind, the hordes were out of the ordinary at the venue pictured - the Queen Elizabeth Park, where the Olympic Stadium is, on its Festival opening weekend. There was a touch of the Orwellian about the journey between station and park: loudhailers told us to keep moving, to cross the road when instructed, to keep going for the festival/station as required, to go through the barriers without tickets or tapping (it's an Oyster thing)... for yes: we all got on the high-speed train back into St Pancras without paying. It was all very jolly and good humoured, and totally exhausting.
I think I've been rusticated ...