I know some people who are addicted to big cities. They are enlivened by being in a large city like New York or London. They tell me they feel connected. I often hear the sentiment of “being able to touch the pulse of the city”. I’ve never really had such a visceral reaction to big cities. Living in London is an expensive privilege but I don’t think it is an obvious choice.
For fear of turning this post into a whiny adolescent weighing of pros and cons about a city, rather, I’ll just adhere to reporting on interesting things that have happened.
Number One Topic of Conversation
In July, London experienced a ‘heatwave’, or as other countries put it, summer. There were literally two days of thirty plus weather and people start sweating with abandon. The Evening Standard condemned the inhuman heat of the tube (there I agree) and people took to Twitter and #hottestdayoftheyear become the top trending hashtag for London. False comparisons were quite popular (London hotter than Sydney! meanwhile, it is 3am in Sydney and the middle of winter).
But what is most galling about the infinitesimally brief summer was that people start complaining about the heat. Complaining. Bring back winter I actually heard. This country is a special kind of crazy when it comes to weather. And it’s affecting me now. I swear I talk (and now write) about this for about an hour a day. It is the unrivalled topic of conversation across offices throughout the city. “Weather is good today, but some showers coming in this afternoon. Tomorrow looks ok” … I’m even boring myself writing about it.
And while we’ve now had several days of some sun (seriously, that’s it), autumn is clearly setting in and any hope of an Indian summer appears dim as temperatures are predicted to precipitously drop over the next month.
“Brexit means Brexit”
Our new PM Theresa May is adamant that Brexit will happen but approximately zero people know what that means. The new Brexit department have been spotted in a Starbucks using their laptops. Confidence inspiring stuff. At the very least, for a relative outsider, Brexit has been fascinating. If I was truly invested in the future of this country it would frankly be terrifying but as someone who can easily bail, it’s popcorn stuff. It’s particularly fun to read David Allen Green’s running commentary of this slow motion car crash.
Olympics came and went. People were happy with Team GB’s performance but it barely broke onto the front pages. Headlines have been dominated by Brexit, Trump, the collapse of BHS (British Homes Store), junior doctor strikes and general coverage of Sadiq Khan’s first 100 days (including his melodramatic decision to appoint a Night Czar following the closure of Fabric).