Friday, 12 August 2011


Posted by Tania Kindersley.

Tired now, and no camera, so it's just a few fleeting impressions of the day.

The first moment - coming outside at 5.45am to find yellow Scottish sun, a cold dew, wreaths of cloud rising up at the base of the hill. My garden was very still and stately. The Pidge looked at me with her Disney I-know-you-are-leaving eyes.

There was dazzling light on the North Sea, which was the colour of sapphires, as the train slid towards Stonehaven.

We passed a long stretch of bright sand and black rocks, stretching out into the water like fingers.

My sister sent a text, just south of Montrose. She was walking my Pigeon. I said 'Aaahh' out loud, into the train carriage. Slight looks of astonishment, from the other passengers.

At England, someone switched off the sun. Berwick was brown, Newcastle sombre.

The city was hot. My northern sensibilities were startled, after days of eleven degrees.

The streets were oddly quiet, as if the old town were holding its breath, after its week of tumult.

I thought of the riots, but everywhere there were smiling young people, looking as if they were perfect advertisements for their generation.

I spoke to one of them. He was nineteen, working in Soho. He had been in work since he got his first Saturday job when he was fourteen. 'My dad always taught me you don't get anything unless you work for it,' he said. I fell slightly in love with him. 'People keep talking about this lost generation,' he said. 'But I'm not lost.' His voice rose in indignation, that anyone should think such a thing. 'No' I said. 'You are found.' We grinned at each other.

The Bar Italia is just the same. Outside the pubs, Ordinary Decent Britons are drinking their Ordinary Decent Pints. In Berwick Street, a twenty-something fellow with wild dreaded hair gave me a blinding smile. It reminded me of that part at the very end of Absolute Beginners. (The book, obviously, not the film.)

Dear old London, I think, the city of my wild youth. She will survive.

My friend The Playwright calls, from a windy street. 'I hope my bon mots are not being blow away by this gale,' he shouts. We both know it would take more than a bit of wind.

I have a party tomorrow. I am going to put on a face pack, so my skin looks dewy. And I shall be working on my bon mots.


  1. Very reassuring to hear that London isn't all looting and riots as shown several times a day (& evening) on the news, Belgian, British and CNN (international).
    Have a wonderful, wonder full break!

  2. What I noticed today in the centre of London, and I don't think it was just wishful thinking, was how pleasant and polite people were being to each other. Enjoy your self tomorrow.


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