London is a curious place in August. It is open, unlike Paris. But it is wet. It is cold. And because it is wet and cold and August, it is bloody miserable. Have I reverse hibernated and woken up in winter? Of course I didn't bring a thick jumper, a raincoat and an umbrella. I thought it was summer. There was so much rain ducks had moved into the puddles on the common. Last evening, La Fille and I huddled together for warmth on the sofa and watched Monsters, Inc. I was a shiver away from turning on the central heating and digging out a water bottle.
Then today as I was walking to the Post Office in a summer dress stomping and cursing the weather, an ambulance sped past, lights flashing, siren wailing. There was a tailback of traffic at the lights, but everyone moved out of its way. White van man pulled onto the pavement. Boy racer edged in behind. The lorry driver who had been going so fast he sent an arc of grey spray our way - maybe he thought it was summer as well - pulled off the road too. Impatient pedestrians leaped back onto the pavement. The ambulance sped onwards to its emergency without so much as a single flash of brake. In eight years, I have never seen this happen in Paris. I thought: It may be cold and wet and miserable in August, but it's damn civilised here.
Why I love Belgium
2 days ago