Central London in July – during the day – is like the sordid, illegitimate offspring of Lang’s Metropolis and some ill-mannered and dreary tourist. It’s a sea of mundaneness teeming with a quite pathetic commercialism. However, if you traverse these same streets when the masses have evacuated in favour of their comfy beds – quite a different cityscape reveals itself.
My girlfriend and I, in a tipsy-haze, rambled along by Covent Garden and across the Themes towards the London eye – equipped with cans of Cider and Pall Malls – and I found there an altered London. A London of locals meandering their merry way home on ‘Boris Bikes’, (the only entity which Johnson gave to London in exchange for ripping out its heart and soul) Taxi drivers sullenly lingering for a fare, and a city who’s beauty is lost on the daylight hours.
What really strikes you, as you wander along the rubbish-paved streets, is the peace you feel there.
Standing on a bridge with a Cider-hot face as the cold breeze blows through you. Big Ben and the London eye lit up – not for the multitudes – but simply for the night sky. It is – for lack of words – peaceful. It was as if the city was ours. If just for that brief moment – before the sun and the inevitable throng rose – it was ours to enjoy.