More Summer Days…

God, London, what is with this heat? I mean, normally I complain about the rain and the cold and all the rest, but, wow. Lordy. My underarms are stinky and my thighs are sticking together. Its not what I signed up for. But, as all good Londoners have been saying for the past week and half, ‘I’m not complaining! I’m really not complaining! I mean, I love it! Really I do!’ Everyone is kind of scared that the weather is actually like your mean great-aunt who would take things (gifts, toys, food) away from you if you complained about it too much (not that I had a mean great-aunt who took things away from me. All my relatives were very nice. I’ve just seen it in the movies and so I presume it is a thing. You know, like accidentally using sperm as a hair gel. That is totally a thing)

Anyway, as I’ve said previously, the hot weather requires all British citizens (and all others who have lived in Britain) to be outside, getting sunburnt, wearing very few clothes, drinking a lot AND BLOODY WELL ENJOYING IT.

Meanwhiles, I have done the following:

SATURDAY

Oh Lord did I ever have trouble coming up with something I could pretend was ‘new’ for Saturday. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I had a lovely day. But I don’t really think anything that I did that day could be conceivably described as ‘new’. I went for a swim. I went to work. I went for a drink afterwards. All delightful. But, new? No. No, not in anyway.

I’m pretty sad about this. I mean, I didn’t last all that long with my little plan in the end. I mean, I know I wasn’t really following through with the plan, really. I wasn’t actively going out and trying to find new things to do – I was kind of so busy with my own life that I needed to live day-to-day that I didn’t have much time left over to be thinking, ‘What new thing can I conceivably experience in the few hours I have to myself?’ I was clutching at straws – oh, I drank a new thing! I ate a Cliff Bar!

So, what can I do about this, really? Now that its Tuesday and I have no ability to go back in time and do something new? I am going to have to resort to the really, really most boring, boring of ‘new things’. And that is, I went to a new bar for the first time. It was actually a Spanish restaurant. It was the 21st b’day party of girl from work. And that was it. I drank far too much, far too quickly and twisted my ankle on the way home. Woo.

SUNDAY

Now Sunday! Sunday was much better! Still ridiculously hot, but with no beach to head to, it was beginning to get a little old. Slightly hung-over from the too-quick drinks of the night before (white wine isn’t meant to involve hang-overs!! WHAT IS THIS??) I headed out to Peckham to go to a foodie festival with my friend who lives out that way. I really like Peckham. Because it is on the other side of gentrification and it still has some character (in the form of awesome supermarkets that sell aloe vera drinks and coconut water) whilst also having nice parks and hosting foodie festivals. We ended up spending all afternoon together and I lay in her garden, on a picnic rug under a crabapple tree, which is just… so delightfully quaint and storybook that I can’t even handle it. I would like to live under that crabapple tree. It is propped up with a chair and a stick as it makes it slow progress across the garden. Oh boy, the crabapple tree!!

MONDAY

On Monday I proved what a capable single woman I am! I built a garden trolley! All on my own! This one here:

Isn’t it cute? Isn’t it delightful? It’s a gardening trolley! Which confused my housemates no end, as we have no garden. We live in an apartment. But, its actually to cart my props around in Edinburgh (my accommodation is a fair distance from my venue). Oh, was I ever pleased with myself putting it altogether last night. My housemate suggested I get our male housemate to help. But I refused! No no! I used to be an excellent Tetris player, back in the day! I was very good at Lego! I needed no man! I could do this all on my own!

And I certainly did. No tools even. I was so pleased with myself. I began to get a little bit sad at the thought of leaving my trolley behind next year when I have to come home. My poor trolley! How ever would I explain it to him!

Of course, it was all another matter when I rolled it to Clapham Common station today and all the nuts and bolts fell out when I wasn’t looking and it fell to pieces. Then I was less than delighted with the trolley. And then I realised it was probably my fault because I had used no spanners to tighten the bolts and then I felt like a silly girl. But, really, why do I have to blame that on my gender? So, it was just silly and in no way related to my inability (as a girl) to understand practical, engineering and building-type tasks. Ra ra feminism!

TUESDAY

That was today! Oh boy was it hot. I had to change dresses half-way through the day and get under a cold shower. London, I don’t even know you even more! (I swear I’ve said that some time already. It does not take away from its truth) The nicest thing that happened to me today was an old Swedish lady started talking to me on the Overground. She sat next to me and was talking to her son and her son’s friend in Swedish (I couldn’t tell if it was Swedish or Norwegian or Danish, but I couldn’t properly understand it, whatever it was). Of course, this endeared me to her straight away. I was reading a very serious book about the Murray-Darling Basin and the need to come to a new understanding of the ‘managing’ of this waterway. In particular, an understanding that gave precedence to the traditional owners’ way of understanding land, culture and resources. Its heavy going to say the least and I unconsciously let out a big ol’ sigh. She turned to me and said, ‘Why do you sigh?’ I explained to her the book I was reading and how it had lots of big ideas that were making me sleepy. She seemed really interested and asked lots of questions and I told her all about my book and showed her the maps of the Murray-Darling basin and it was just so… lovely.

You don’t normally talk to people on the tube and I realised when I got off the train today what a shame that was. I mean, I didn’t ask her much about herself, but how amazing is it that two people from complete opposite sides of the earth meet in London and talk about this specific area of Australian geography? And these particular philosophies on environment and country and culture etc? I want to hope that she’d never heard of the Murray-Darling before (why would she have?) and now she has this tiny kernel planted in her head about this place in the South-East of Australia. It made me wonder what sort of interesting stories I’d get out of all the other Londoners I come in contact with every day.

Of course, most of them probs wouldn’t speak to me. Because that’s not what we do. Probably the only reason I spoke to her was because she was elderly and dressed in awesome clashing bright patterns and because I had heard her speaking Swedish. If she’d been a different combination of things I may not have spoken to her. Or not have been so eager to answer her questions. Its a shame. How many interesting conversations am I missing out on?

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