Like I told you, it’s been unusually hot and humid in London this summer. Yesterday as I was walking through Hyde Park, not far from the Princess Diana memorial, I spotted any number of young people splashing about in the torpid waters of the lake despite very British signs not five feet away proclaiming that there was to be absolutely no swimming.
This afternoon while looking for a cool place to spend an hour or so I came across this little paved square tucked in the corner of one of my favorite small London parks, the Victoria Embankment Gardens. Seeing all these hot, sweaty Brits draped over blue- or red-striped sling chairs, well, it gave me a laugh. I mean, there’s nothing really funny about it. They’re just ordinary people taking a breather in a canvas sling chair in the park. Except they don’t put the chairs in the section of the garden where there are flowers and fountains and trees. They put them in a square, secluded from prying eyes with a six-foot-tall hedge, on very hot pavers.
And what were the people doing in these sling chairs? Nothing. Oh, maybe one or two were glancing at one of the tabloids or sending text messages to their friends, but that was about it. For the most part, it was just a couple here, a couple there, sitting on the chairs inches above radiantly hot paving stones, dozing off.
I don’t know why but, really, it gave me a laugh. And when I got over my mirth, I found an empty chair and sat myself down. It was quite pleasant.
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