I Live In The Wrong City

Film, London

I typed ‘Summer in London’ into Google and this is what I got.

Then I typed in ‘Summer in Barcelona’ and got this.

Last year, I took the cover off the barbecue twice, but wasn’t fast enough to beat the rain. Summer in London lasts for six weeks. The kind of weather we’d call summer lasts in Southern Europe for about nine months. Liverpool is approximately the same latitude as Sweden, for God’s sake, and look how miserable the Swedes are.

Today in London it’s the most glorious spring morning, and I bounce into my coffee shop in a T-shirt and jeans with my laptop under my arm wishing everyone a cheery hello. What does the barista say? ‘You’re a bit underdressed, aren’t you? It’s going to rain later.’

Maybe I should write a horror story about a fundamentally sunny writer doomed to live at the bottom of a fish tank. The curse and blessing of London is that it forces you to think. They say that in LA you move there full of ideas, fall asleep by a swimming pool and wake up when you’re forty. No danger of that here unless you live in the South West – which is beautiful but harder to reach than Morocco.

10 comments on “I Live In The Wrong City”

  1. Jon says:

    Today in London it’s a perfect day to hop on a boris bike and shout “Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” as you do circuits of Manchester Square.

  2. Alan. says:

    Such a perfect day – and here am I repairing computers – with a meeting at six.


  3. Helen Martin says:

    Here in Vancouver it’s a beautiful spring day and I’m trying to psych myself up to spray oil and sulphur on my two apple trees and then walk up the hill for a soup and sandwich lunch, then walk down again and dig weeds. Lovely outdoors!

  4. Gretta says:

    It’s a lovely Autumn day here in the south of New Zealand. 20degC and not a cloud in the sky. 🙂

  5. Drew says:

    A conversation I once had with a local in a bar Cartagena, Columbia turned to weather. ‘I’d really like to see snow one day’ he said, with heartbreaking longing. I suddenly felt desperately homesick for the English climate…

  6. Anne Fernie says:

    1/ Damp weather is better for your skin – you age slower.
    2/ Gloomy weather means you stay in and get more creative.
    3/ Short ‘n sweet summers you can appreciate more. There isn’t time to get irritable and moody in unrelenting heat. Instead everyone is euphoric and nice to each other.
    3/ What would be the point of a summer holiday if you had it all at home?????

    Here in Manchester we’ve gone from classic Lowry mizzly hunched up gloom to Southern California shorts and strapless tops in just over a week – quite heady stuff……..

  7. Helen Martin says:

    Here we are on the 24th, after the perfect day. I didn’t spray the trees, but the rest was fine. Today it’s cloudy and cool. Appreciate the good ones while they’re here. Anne is quite right, too. It’s possible that those of us in a marine climate have the best of the whole world and we can visit the rest just for the change.

  8. Joyce says:

    yes, it is sunny here on North Island NZ too but winter is hiding around the corner and soon it will be b.cold and my ‘lovely’ rental will be leaking warmth out through the cardboard uninsulated walls.

  9. Joining into the chorus of testimonies: some years ago, an English friend of mine, living in San Diego, when I enthused about the pleasure one must have, waking up every day to sunshine, even in the winter (I was staying there over Xmas holidays), looked at me in a very commiserating way and said. “I miss New York. Going out there can be a challenge: you have to fight the cold, the snow: it’s vital and bracing. Here, there’s no surprise, you know it’s going to be sunny. One can tire of everlasting sun.” He’s changed his mind, since, but then again, he’s retired, now.

    Draw whatever conclusions you wish.

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