Tuesday, 12 August 2008

"Summer" in London

Summer in London, at the best of times, is a fickle thing. It can be very warm for a week, raining and freezing the next and then blistering hot for a few days after that. It is unpredicatable to say the least.

However, Traveller's most favourite 'Londoner' characteristic is their willingness to proceed even in the most extreme weather. This characteristic was best exampled when T, hubbie and their flatmates went to Somerset House for a Summer Screen session. This is the perfect opportunity to watch a film in the courtyard of Somerset House, whilst basking in the summer air, and perhaps even have partaking in a picnic. A lovely summer activity.

Well, a lovely summer activity if there isn't a torrential downpour....

All day T and her flatmates had been watching the weather. It was sunny, then cloudy, then rainy and then sunny again. We decided to brave it and head for the summer theatre. The film of the day was 'O Brother, Where Art Thou' and T was super excited, and apparently everyone else was as well because the session was completely sold out. This was when T witnessed the stoic nature of the Brits.
As they exited the tube, the rain started to pour down - the umbrellas were taken out and we hurried towards our destination. What was surprising, was that everyone else came along as well. The cinema-goers came in hoards decked out in ponchos, with umbrellas and picnic bags full of nibblies and wine. Traveller's own British flatmate taught us a lesson in preparing for outdoor events in London - she packed oodles of garbage bags, picnic blankets, umbrellas and even pillows to make sure we were organised for whatever weather the elements threw at us.

As the weather cleared before the entertainment began, T and friends made themselves comfortable on their picnic rug, with blankets and pillows (yes, blankets in summer). Then, just as the film hit its stride, it began to properly chuck it down (Note: that's an English expression for 'it began to rain quite heavily'). T and friends quickly covered themselves with umbrellas and garbage bags, ensuring that they covered every inch of their clothes and bodies. They then relaxed, and simply enjoyed the atmosphere, however cold and soggy it became!
The film was truly funny, but what was best, was seeing hundreds of people braving the rain in order to watch it in such beautiful surroundings.

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