Summer in the Square
Summer has arrived in London. The long, dark days of winter are a distant memory. I threw my balding winter coat away weeks ago, the heating is off, the childrens’ noses have stopped running, there are plenty of bare legs on the tube (not always a pretty sight), the city gleams and even the London pigeons look less grimy and mutilated. The sun makes an appearance for more than a few minutes at a time and has already proved itself capable of inflicting sunburn, the parks are full of music festivals and concerts and the residents of London have come out to play.
Outside our office on Bedford Square, our little oasis of huge, exquisitely green trees, the marquees and fairy lights start going up for the plethora of events that run through the summer months, from graduation ceremonies to literary events to sports days – it’s like having a permanent disco outside. Telephone calls can be challenging thanks to the incessantly thumping bass – there must be some bemused clients on the other end. Interesting structures appear on the Square, thanks to the School of Architecture. At present we have ‘Rainforest’ and giant white orbs floating amongst the trees of Bedford Square, which is all very in keeping with the way random works of art can suddenly appear in the city – a wonderfully ‘London’ phenomenon. The big screens in the open spaces and bars are showing the World Cup (a damp squib) and Wimbledon (damp in patches) & as I Andy has now been knocked out all we have to look forward to is the promise of a decent summer – and the Commonwealth Games. London still basks in the glow of the 2012 Olympics and we all remember how those incredible few weeks united the city in a fever of national pride. Sporting events and heroes will do that for a country and summer is their time to shine – sometimes!
On the days which do dawn bright and blue (and stay that way) I have to confess to spending quite a lot of time staring out of our big Georgian windows, fantasising about buying a VW camper van (complete with surfboard on roof) and heading to the coast – which is what happens to me whenever good weather arrives. I grew up by the sea in a hot country (South Africa) where summers do actually feel endless; come December you can pretty much plan an outdoor event for three weeks’ time, secure in the knowledge that the weather will be good. Summer time weather in the UK is, as we all well know, less of a sure-fire thing but it certainly makes us grateful when it does get it right and with everything London in good weather has to offer, it’s a great place to be.
By Lisa Wannell