‘The thing is’, said Paul, over bread and olives at Carluccio’s, ‘in Manchester, everyone’s friendly and happy all the time. People talk to you on public transport. Look, there, see them singing happy birthday to that table? If this were Manchester, the whole restaurant would be singing. It’s very off-putting’.
He’s a barrister in London – also one of my favourite people – where such things aren’t done, at least not in rush hour, and his case in Manchester has made this obvious. You’re not supposed to chat in London, particularly on the Tube. It’s alright, though, because the streets can speak for themselves. I don’t want to get weird and say that they sing, or anything – but I’ve been popping in and out of London for ten years, and I still have the most ridiculous, dizzy enchantment with it. It’s a bit embarrassing. London was my first city crush, and it hasn’t faded at all. It’s like still being obsessed with Peter Andre, circa Mysterious Girl.
Lucky that two of my nicest friends live there (as well as several family members), so some Saturdays we get to drive to the nearest Underground station, while I play it cool and laugh uproariously hoping London will notice, and send over notes saying ‘London, do you like me, pls tick y/n’.
If you were wondering what the best thing about having boys is, well, I’d say that dressing them up as Mischievous Scraps from the Twenties is a pretty strong contender.
The Victorians, eh. They were just bonkers, weren’t they? Did you know that when the Natural History Museum was first established, Sir George Shaw (Keeper of Zoology) threatened to stamp on any shell that didn’t appear in the 12th Edition of Linnaeus’ Systema Naturae? Then some famous naturalist contributed his conch collection, and as it was carried across the courtyard the wind blew off all the labels. The collection never recovered, says Wikipedia. No kidding.
Disney films come in especially handy at the Natural History Museum. You should have seen us identifying stuff in the fish section. We were ALL OVER IT.
Lunch, Tube, museum, wandering. I do not need anything more than that for a blimming perfect day. My No. 1 city crush still has my heart. Does yours?