It is normally quite a delight to step out of the train at Paddington and enjoy the kind of splendour that can only be afforded by a grand railway station. This morning, however, there was something eerie about the light; it appeared more like a tunnel than the usual cathedral of old-style grandeur and mobility.
Hyde Park, on the other hand, presented itself as an all-encompassing source of white, interrupted only by the occasional fellow human being or companion species. A nice but demanding bike ride indeed.
On Trafalgar Square, the Admiral stood in his usual place, silently watching the crowds passing by. When I finally reached the office, I was one of the few people actually turning up. My otherwise reliable colleagues P. honeline and Int Ernet even decided to take the day off so I embarked on the return leg right away.
Sometimes the journey is the destination.
Update: Stuart Jeffries has a nice piece on the ‘day of innocence‘ in the Guardian:
In London, this doesn’t happen often. We trust our dour reflexive, self-poisoning moaning as a lifestyle philosophy instead. We like it that way: strangers are strange and Britain, damn everything about it, doesn’t work. Why don’t the buses run on time? Why are we so hopeless? Why can’t something be done (usually by someone else who we can blame for their shortcomings)? And this chorus of self-immolation is taken up countrywide: why, non-Londoners ask, is the capital brought to a standstill by a little snow? Why can’t you southern ponces get your act together? And the cry is international too: as I walk through the St Pancras Eurostar terminal, a French couple consulting the warnings about the tube, roll their eyes as one. He said: “Typiquement anglais. Rien ne va plus!” They both laugh, as if to say their Gallic expectations had been confirmed.