Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hi ho (possibly ho hum) for spring

This photo on the front page of the Evening Standard strikes me as so typically English: a hosepipe ban recently declared after a long stretch of below-average rainfall is immediately followed by torrential rain that's delivered a month's worth of precipitation in just two days. And the people sigh and snap up their umbrellas and soldier on, martyrs as ever to the weather.

If they hadn't had that early sunny spell in March, no-one would have been surprised: spring is about changeable weather, after all. At least there have still been clear spells, when London's colours are bright - the flower-filled public gardens, the red buses, the gold on the domes and crosses, the pictures on the pub signs.

Yesterday the Queen opened the Cutty Sark to the public again, after a long restoration that was delayed by a big fire in 2007. The fastest clipper on the route to Sydney in 1885, it looks splendid now, its hull encased in shiny brass - and that part is conveniently glassed-in. It's a fine place to sit with a cup of the tea it was originally designed to bring to London from China, for the comfort and succour of the people, especially in weather like this.

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