Summer bugs me…

June 28, 2011

I’m not sure London is designed for heat, because even the sort of two-day heatwave we’ve just had seems to drive people potty. It is always a treat to see young ladies in their smalls (although of course, I would never admit to it in real life…)  but I am baffled as to why, when the mercury goes above about 75 degrees (in old money…I think that’s about 27 for you metric types), they all decide to congregate in Oxford Street.

The other day, by a little design and quite a lot of coincidence, I had to cross Oxford Street from an unconclusive coffee meeting about a new job to a jolly South Indian lunch with my old pal Clive, who is not a bad bloke for a toff, and is one of those fallen angels from a once-good family who landed up in advertising, not banking or the law, because he was too lazy and ‘creative’ at school, and got a gentleman’s third in Eng Lit.

Anyway, that is all by way of settting the scene . I’ll tell you about Clive another time. So there I was, coming out of St Christopher’s Place on to Oxford Street. I could hear a roar of lost tourists (why do people travel? It beats me) I was walking down Duke Street when suddenly I was assailed by a swarm of those hideous little flying ants which come from nowhere.

Flailing my arms like advertising’s answer to Victor Meldrew, I managed to brush them off my linen suit, but my best efforts only managed to transfer them to my slightly battered but still stylish Gucci loafers. I tried to pull my shoe off, hopping frantically, struggling to maintain balance and remove my shoe, and nearly stumbled under the wheels of a black cab. After some choice words of encouragement from the driver, I manged to right myself, but only managed to put my feet down in an oily puddle, possibly on that steamingly hot day the only one left in London, where a builder had been washing his van. So there I stood, wringing out my black silk sock, as a stream of Swedish schoolkids paraded by in their tiny shorts, giggling, and politely refraining from pointing at me.

So that’s why I hate…no, perhaps ‘regret’ is a better word … summer. And when I got to the restaurant, a flying ant popped out of my shoe, prompting an askance look and raised eyebrow from Clive. but being a proper toff, he stayed schtum and  squashed the little bugger with a fork, with the sort of ruthless aplomb that maybe only a Cambridge literature degree can confer.


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