an idiot in london


Sunday, 16th July.
Primrose Hill

Tottenham Court Road underground station is a grimy little affair. I stood outside waiting for Bonnie and Mark (serves me right for being on time for once) and became so familiar to the local beggars that they stopped asking me for money. The Tuffnell Park Two appeared, and we walked the short distance to the British Museum.

"TheeeeeesepeeeepllllleareANIMALS!" I exclaimed, to the amusement of any English-speaker in the vicinity. Being pushed around in the Egyptian exhibit (oi stop pushing me in the Egyptian exhibit) was not my idea of a laid-back Sunday afternoon with friends. After a couple of hours of tactile, tangible history, we were ready for a nice sit down.

"Do I pay now?" I asked the bloke at the cafe.
"No," he replied in a relaxed way, "you can pay after you finish."
Hmm. "What if we all do a runner?"
"I keep a big dog downstairs."
"I reckon I could outrun it"
"We'll see."

(I paid.)

Regents Park is set north of Oxford Street and east of Lord's. Primrose Hill is at the north end of the park. The late afternoon sun, the long grass, and the groups of people chilling out on the hillside gave the place the aura of some kind of hippie festival. We walked to the top, and looked out across the flat city of London. Canary Wharf, St Paul's, the BT Tower, you could see them all. London all of a sudden seems very small. How can I possibly spend so long travelling on the tube? It just doesn't add up.

As the sun sank lower, we adjourned briefly to a nearby pub (stacked with local toffs) then went our separate ways. Bonnie and Mark (for they are one being) went north, and I went south, south to the Dawes Road Palace.