The Umbrellas of London

The weather for today and Sunday: cloudy, rain, dark clouds, rain, clouds, suddenly dropping temperatures, clouds and rain.

How depressing this city is when technically, it should be warmer with at least some hint of sun, but alas, we’ve been forsaken again. Francesco is in Naples where it’s a comfortable 31C today. We haven’t really had one nice summer’s day since summer began a month ago, and temperatures haven’t gone much higher than 24C. No wonder so many Brits decamp to Spain and get leathery skin from worshiping the sun for so long. I even am wearing shorts and a t-shirt today in the vain hope that I will actually be able to sit in the sun at some point and feel heat.

Even in Sweden, one of my favourite places to visit, it gets really bloody cold in winter. But the air is free of pollutants so it’s really crisp, and provided you’re wrapped up well, it’s really great to go outside. Everything feels fresh and clean, and the country really knows how to celebrate various seasons with loads of festivals and crazy recipes associated with certain times of the year. This probably comes from their deep-rooted pagan traditions, but it’s really a difference from what life in London has going for it – a metropolitan city where the air is heavy and the weather is mostly tepid and non-committal despite the time of year – that is, if weather can ever be termed as “non-committal”. But you get the point.

Saw some more flats today – fortunately I saw some excellent places. One was really great – a flat in an Edwardian house, with some original tiling on the floors, a small back garden which would need some tending to, a very quiet street, and a huge lounge/living room. Only disadvantage I can see is that the second bedroom is a bit on the small side, so to rent it out I couldn’t get as much money as I’d hoped, and I might be faced with stomping neighbours upstairs running around at all hours. But these are minor quibbles. It was the best place I’ve seen so far, and in a city filled with lousy converted houses and mid-70s decor (including carpeted bathrooms) there was a ray of light. If only there was some bloody sun in the sky though…

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