A Day in London


My friend lives in San Francisco and wildly claims she misses our weather, they’re practically in a drought, apparently. As her longing for her home has clearly made her delusional I’ve decided to write about my vary, vary British day.

Our radio alarm goes off. We wake up to The Killers for the third day in the row, we both grumble about this later when we can’t stop singing it. A no repeat guarantee should also cover morning scheduling. The fan is on in our room because our window is jammed shut and our flat is in a modern building, winter hasn’t affected our sweat box. This is the first morning this week I’ve woken up without my hair sweat-plastered to my face.

After my shower I moisturise and pray I don’t start to sweat. Thankfully the fan, although off, kept the room cool enough.

Dressed, I make my first cup of tea, undoubtedly my favourite of the day and the only one I don’t have time to finish. Ever.

I get a text warning me the weather is minging, reluctantly I accept I have to take the bus. I spray some first defense up my nose in preparation.

Queuing for the bus someone bumps into my backpack, I swear at them, in my head. It’s a slimline backpack! Maintain a reasonable distance!

Finally on the bus and my glasses steam up. Perfect. The man next to me has long nails. I shudder, wipe my glasses, and focus on reading my book to distract me.

My replacement seat companion gets up and leaves behind a fart. I shoot daggers at his back, he could have waited until he was out in the open.

I’m off the bus but I’m a little late. Drizzle flecks my glasses as I march to the office. Only one other person is in, the effort was wasted.

I go to pick up lunch in the pathetically non-committal rain. I pay £3.69 for a veg rice pot with hardly any veg or rice.

I notice it’s dark.

I’m starved so I tuck into the office fruit supply – an unripe banana, a tangerine and some grapes. I’m still starving.

I decide to leave work for the day. I head to the bus stop in the wind and the consistently weak rain. I stand at the bus stop for five minutes until someone notices the bus stop is out of service. Idiotically and stubbornly I march 10 minutes to a different bus stop where a more direct bus home departs from. I consider how this is definitely the wettest winter I can remember and that we will still have a drought in the summer. I grumble expletives about Thames water.

Someone else bumps into my backpack. I inwardly curse them and assure them, in my head, that if my hands weren’t frozen I’d slap them. I sit down at the back, my knees knocking companionably against the person’s opposite mine.

I head to Sainsbury’s and hate all the other people doing their shopping. We have to clamber and jostle past one another, Londoner leers are being fired across the cramped aisles. I buy angel delight and blue cheese. The cheese is as close as my boyfriend will willingly go to treat his throat infection.

I stare at the floor in the lift, terrified that one if the other two residents will say something to me. Relieved I didn’t have to make small talk I exit the lift.

Finally home I clamber over multiple drying racks to close the curtains so the neighbours can’t look in. I make supper in preparation for my boyfriend’s arrival and change into my pyjamas. He gives me a two minute hug when he arrives home, he’s definitely ill.

We slurp down our soup, which is a huge hit, even though it’s just chicken stock and sweetcorn, some people are easily pleased.

We FaceTime his brother.

His brother’s girlfriend accidentally sprays water all over his work, we catch her in the act. He shows us the French bread he’s made, we’re impressed, he’s never made us French bread before.

We call his Mum, we’ve finally got everyone to agree a date for a weekend away in the Isle of Wight. Dog walks, pub food and fresh air.

Sofa, TV and mindless drooling.

All in all, a pretty good day in London. Don’t know what people complain about.

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