As Lenny Henry says, at the end of a week is a weekend. And thank goodness there is. This weekend I spent two lovely days with friends in Central London; around St John’s Wood, Paddington and Covent Garden, and it was great fun.
Catching up, eating BBQ food, marvelling at the rain “it can’t keep this up!” “Shut up mate, were you not at Isle of Wight? It rained for 16 hours!!” and playing drinking games before heading to a really fun American club where a death metal singer belted out classics from the Black Eyed Peas and Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. It was odd, but it was good. We bounced around to Greenday and Bon Jovi and then the club went back to a normal establishment, like nothing had ever happened.
There is something about London in the sun. We sat in the little decking garden and sipped on Pimms, and the sun shone enough that we all had to put our sunglasses on. We got a bit delirious and realised that our friend Ben looks like Bruno Mars, Jen looks like Sinead O’Connor and Brendon looks like a tennis player, so much hilarity was had as we photographed them with pictures of their dopplegangers. And then we headed to Covent Garden which is beautiful in the evenings when the weather is balmy and people have smiles on their faces.
It’s all about getting out of the country when we have time off; bathing in the sun on the beaches and dining on the local food, but actually England is fantastic. London has so much to offer and it seems dead grim in the wet, but when the sun comes out there is so much more of a community feel; people smiling and saying thanks, picnics on the parks and music in the sun. My favourite is Kensington Park and the Serpentine Lake because I love sitting down at the water with Kensington Palace as my backdrop. It makes me feel like part of The Bathers by Georges Seurat.
I remember the first time I went to the National Gallery with school and meandered round the Impressionist section, turning the corner and seeing a Monet, and thinking how fantastic it was, and then turning the corner and seeing this one. Its massive; it takes up a whole wall in the gallery and is so delicate. Hundreds and thousands of tiny dots make up such a large piece and it’s intricate and beautiful. So when I sit at the Serpentine Lake, reading my book or having a picnic with my friends I imagine we are some of the modern-day bathers, and it makes me smile.
What do you love about your home town?