The O of Fitzrovia 3. Sunny days

Jennifer Kavanagh reflects on summer in London

By Jennifer Kavanagh

The morning bodes well. Opposite my flat there are sharp dark shadows on the brickwork; a jogger arches an aching back against a lamp post, her face up to the sun; a sweating traffic warden takes a break to drink a coke.

At lunch time, every available green space fills up with office workers eating their sandwiches or sushi. In Fitzroy Square, a few are on benches, most are on the ground. As are the workmen outside the BBC, sitting in a long row in their boots and day-glo jackets, leaning up against the blue hoardings, smoking, eyeing up the girls as they pass.

For much of the rest of the day – lunch is an elastic feast – tables outside the cafes and restaurants in Langham Street are full: a glass of white wine, a plate smeared with pasta, legs stretched towards the sun.

After-work drinkers make the most of the light evenings, and spill over pavements and into the road, chatting to and chatting up, oblivious to passers by. Summer too is a time for noise: for digging up the roads, for loud music and open windows, careful negotiations with neighbours, up, down and next door. Sleep is somewhat elusive.

But how good it is to walk out without a fleece, a coat, a scarf, or a woolly hat, to wander at will in this city of ours, and be warm.

Summer in London: there’s nothing like it.

Jennifer Kavanagh is the author of Call of the Bell Bird, the World is our Cloister and The O of Home. www.o-of-home.co.uk

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