I’ve reflected on the last day of summer in South Australia. Here’s the London version.
Friday afternoon, mid-September, it’s warm, the sun is shining and after a long lunch the weekend is upon us. The pubs are drawing in people like magnets, spilling out onto the streets. You have to pass through the beery throng just to cross the road. In the parks locals are stocking up on vitamin D for the winter ahead. Everyone knows this is could be the last chance.
Over in Blackheath the last music festival of the summer, South by South East (featuring Massive Attack, Grace Jones, Frank Turner) is gearing up for the season’s final fling. In Camden the iTunes Festival signifies the switch from outdoor to indoor entertainment (tonight Elbow), whilst the Premier League programme nears it’s traditional conditions- cold, windy, rainy, grey skies and almost universal disappointment.
Here in Bloomsbury, tourists and literati are ambling round one the trails of Books About Town, a series of park benches in the form of books. I sit on Jeeves and Wooster, visit Mrs Dalloway, observe the Importance of Being Earnest and shiver before 1984 situated in front of the imposing Senate House (the Ministry of Truth!).
The streets and Tube are busy but lacking the sweaty crush of high summer. The riotous retail of the sales is past and London is for now a beautiful place to be. Of course tomorrow it may rain.