Thursday, August 01, 2013

Country mouse

Take a look at that photo on the left. Go on - enlarge it if you haven't got your specs on. See all these people? They're all dressed in summer clothes. See the sky? Blue, with white fluffy clouds. It's summer, right? But this is a summer scene in London, not Scotland, and although we've had wonderful weather for the past couple of weeks (now, sadly, a memory) it was somehow not like this. For a start, there's no sign, either in the sky or in the demeanour of the people, that for a half hour or so it had rained intermittently from a threatening darkness - for the rain vanished as suddenly as it had appeared, leaving the ground and the people seemingly as dry as ever and the air as warm as it had been.

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 ...

No comments:

Post a Comment