Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The enemy of average

Summer is here and it’s time for some fun (well it was for a few days now it's dreary again). Now summer in the UK is a different thing to summer back home. Arriving this time last year I was amazed by how hot it was despite the temperature only reaching 25 degrees. Being a large city there's a lot of concrete. Now, the concrete heats up, the clouds roll in at the night and the city bakes. This sounds awful – and when you’re dressed in a suit it truly is – but because this phenomon only occurs for a few months a year, UK summer shits on an Aussie one for about one month in the year. Now I hear you saying ‘pull the other one’ but everyone is so appreciative of the sunshine that it’s party time for that one perfect month.

Now the paradox in my eyes is, after several months of complaining about the rain, the fog, the wet and hail, the sun comes out….and everyone fucks off to Spain????

I can’t figure this out. Lately I have discovered there is no where else in the world I’d rather be than London. This is for three reasons:

Proximity to everything: This isn’t just relating to travel. Movies, books, songs whatever. Coming from Aus, you wouldn’t often see a landmark that you lived near in a film or read about. I just finished reading a book recently where the lead character lived a couple of doors down from an apartment I was frequenting for a few months, drunk at a pub I knew all to well and described the décor of restaurants and bars that I could picture perfectly... mainly as I the décor has not changed for many years.

This is not just related to fiction. The CEO of BP was fired a few weeks ago for committing perjury by denying he had a gay lover and telling him BP's corporate secrets. It was front page news all around the world. These two met while jogging in Battersea Park and used to have dalliances at his boyfriend’s house in Wandsworth – both these places are no more than 3 minutes walk either side of my house.

This brings me to my second point: If you have a sense of humour, this country is great. I think you know where I’m going with this – the bank gave me my credit card. After going in to ask why on earth I’d been rejected several times, she couldn’t answer me, surprised that they had. Ten minutes later and a gold card in hand, I had to shake my head and wonder. And this is when I learnt the one thing that will get you through: laughter. You need to look at things in a rosey light. The bank isn't wrong, they just want you to appreciate it when they get something right. The departure times at Gatwick saying the wrong time - that's not their fault - they just want you to get some exercise sprinting for the flight. Or the train that never appears, well, there's time for that later.

But anyway, the third is variety. I remember back home geting excited when events such as Grand Prix were on, or Sydney Festival, well London has them all on, at the same time, all with in a small area of each other. Your weekend goes from one extreme to another with out even trying. If variety is the spice of life, London offers life up on plate. All in the space of a three days, without even trying mind you, there was dodgy pub-club-Premier League football game-BBQ-bar hopping-BBQ-Aussie rules- dodgy pub-dodgy club-four in a bed with pizza and Scrubs TV marathon lazy session-pub session.

Scouser (Liverpool fans) - always make you feel welcome!
So I had to move away from them (me on the left...Scouser Neil on the right)

But I couldn't stay away from Neil for long

But the one thing London and the variety offers you is a Peter Pan lifestyle. You feel like you're never going to grow up. You go out all night and if you feel bad the next day, you simply do it again. You get bored; you don't wander around the house, you go and see a friend and do something with them. It's actually amazing why you we actually pay so much rent when you never stay in your house!
Discover on a Thursday night that there is actually nothing planned for the weekend, don't worry, it will happen. Either that or get on-line and book a return flight to Pisa for the weekend and plonk your arse in a restaurant there for the price of filling up your car with fuel (a whole new dimension to sitting around eating pizza on a quiet Saturday night).
There really is no such thing as an average weekend, and that's the beauty of London.


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