Monday, May 17, 2004

First Summer's Day

The first real summer's day, warm enough to be reminded of sweat. Only 5 more weeks before midsummer, so we're in the ten most solar-energized weeks of the year.

Biked to Hampstead for my first outdoor swim of the year. It was lovely. Cold, and shocking, but I'm feeling so fit today I can't believe I was ill just a week ago.

Not so lovely was the menopausal blond Volvo-driving neurotic case that bumped my back tire TWICE while I was waiting at a junction. Silly cow didn't even realize that she had nudged my bicycle twice. I was so angry, and told her off, and she grudgingly apologized. I told her to go get a driving license, and she told me to go get a cycle helmet.

Well that's a good way for a driver to absolve themselves of responsibility isn't it? She can't control the brake pedal on her Volvo, but somehow my wearing of a bicycle helmet will compensate for the likelihood of 3 tons of Swedish Tank crushing my legs, and my torso. So long as my skull is intact, she feels righteous about waving around her weapon, which to a cyclist is as dangerous as a machine gun.

I drive a car too, and have owned 4 cars, and have passed driving tests in two countries, and sometimes I am just appalled. Most drivers on the road are actually very decent these days, but it takes just one bad apple to end up dead. And do the courts hand out reasonable sentences to car drivers who commit manslaughter or permanent injury? No. Why not? Because human beings are animals, with steel armour and oil-powered jaws. They are CARnivorous CANnibals. Genetically many humans have already become physically incompetent, but by wearing the suit of a 4x4, they can once again become as brutish as their ancestors in the jungles of Africa.

I can't wait for oil prices to quadruple....

Then cycled onto college, which was not going to have any more classes. I want my money back! The first year students are seriously pissed off about the whole Government's attitude to College Adult education. It's all very well that they're trying to swing the system back into Apprenticeship style training at large Construction Technology colleges, but this is no use to an adult over the age of 21.

It looks wonderful for the employment statistics though.

I have had nothing out of this Government yet. I think Gordon Brown is a bloated ugly twat who just about managed to have one child, and is thus not yet qualified to be a Prime Minister. How smug can he be, when he is presiding over an economy that trades on the English language and Oil in the North Sea? He can be proud that he hasn't been an outrageous squanderer, but he has no reason to be smug about the Economy's new clothes (like the fabled Emperor's New Clothes).

Then cycled through Islington to Angel. A bit of a rush-hour hurly burly, but nothing about Islington is interesting anymore.

Outside Whitechapel, bumped into A. an old clubbing friend, whom I haven't seen for 2 years. Hi A! So nice to see a familiar face in a soulless city. "A." also says London is very boring at the moment, and he goes to Amsterdam for a good time, these days.

Then stopped at Mile End park, which has a few Environmental Bays which were stunning when first unveiled 3/4 years ago. One of them houses an art exhibition hall which I thought was being left to rot. I was surprised to see some activity there, and apparently there is going to be a Master of Fine Arts exhibition there until Saturday evening. This is the first environmental building you come across in the park, if you walk north of Mile End station, before you get to the Palm Tree pub.

There I spoke to a 50-something female French artist, who said, "Oh no, it is not just you that is finding London boring --- everyone is feeling it too!" We lamented at how dull was this younger generation!

Apparently, though, Simon Jenkins - he who just because of his conservative looks, manages to get fantastic jobs in journalism, thinks London should become as boring as New York. I was interested to learn from him that Mayor Bloomberg has imposed such heavy taxes and such a strict regime of zero tolerance in New York, that it is finally a place for rich people to feel safe, i.e. it is now boring.

New York is so volatile. It was very nearly the most amazing place on earth in the early 80s. Then Aids hit harder than the jet airliners that demolished the World Trade Centers. By 1992, New York felt like a graveyard.

I've always wondered if Simon Jenkins is one of those men who doesn't particularly need sex. He once sent me a handwritten note, in response to my complaint at his ignorance of dioxins. (He definitely lacks the factual mind of a scientist, or the conceptual mind of the artist/the engineer). I would love to know what's his poison, wouldn't you? Is it really possible that after all these years, he is the journalist equivalent of Cliff Richard?

Finally on the Mile End road, my once flatmate cycled up on my tail. Cycled together in the direction of home chatting on the busy road. Something definitely wonderful about not having to hug the gutter of the road all the time, just because the average motorist thinks a single cyclist is valid road kill.

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