What seemed to be the longest spring finally turned into summer in London with two sweltering days of 33-5 degrees. After strolling in the shade to my local Italian Cafe I deceived myself that it wasn't that hot and that I had aclimatised to high temperatures in the Seychelles. A few minutes of the burning sun on my legs showed me how wrong I was so I took my shopping, large latte and made my way back home and melted on my sofa, daring to step outside again during the cooler evening.
When the short heatwave passed and the schools broke up for the summer holiday, I noticed for the first time, exactly how quiet it can be in this huge city. A trip across town from Pimlico to Portobello by bus was no longer filled with frustrating waits in queues of traffic but was a speedy journey along empty roads that were usually filled with parents picking up their children during the school run. There weren't even any delivery trucks taking up half of the road outside the shops near Kensington Palace. Friday night tube journeys were so quiet that I found myself to be the only person in a carriage at 10:30pm.
After my trip to the Seychelles, I had what my friend from Guadalupe calls "Hot Foot" commonly known in travel circles as the Travel Bug but decided to enjoy my home town as a tourist. It was quite easy to do this as my lovely home was in a very quite neighbourhood. Aside from holidaying school children playing dare games of knocking on my door and running off, it was like living in the countryside. It wasn't until I heard the different languages spoken in my local supermarket or on the bus, that I remembered that I was living in Central London. Even Belgrave Road with it's street full of hotels was quiet. It wasn't until one reached Victoria that the full buzz of London came to life. Further towards Westminster Square were the throngs of groups of tourists with their tour guides holding up an array of objects to mark their place on the the busy streets. The Guards sitting atop their horses at Horse Guards Parade looked like they were going to melt faster than the Witch in the Wizard of Oz and as though they would have welcomed an Ice Bucket challenge.
No matter how many times I make the journey across Central London, the experience never gets old. There is always something new to see. Always something that just by looking up at the top of buildings or sideways down a street some new aspect of London reveals itself. A walk from Pimlico tube station to my home fills my view with beautiful widely paved streets, white buildings with pillars decorating the many grand entrances, quiet side streets that look French with their beautiful black metallic balconies. Tree lined, beautiful and almost like a beach town when the surrounding homes are drenched in sunlight and a bright light in the dark during the famous British rain showers. Then in no time at all, I am back, home sweet home, and chilling out in my garden by the River Thames.