I hid indoors for most of the Jubilee weekend. As most fellow Londoners will testify, when the streets you normally stroll down become the equivalent of a busy cattle market, it’s best to stay home. The view’s always better on the telly. Though I couldn’t help constantly thinking about Fehr Trade, who lives in a boat on the Thames. What was she seeing and experiencing during the water-logged pageant? (Tell us, tell us, Fehr Trade!)
But on the last day of the four-day weekend, I ventured into central London. I had a writing deadline to meet and I was hoping that the excitement would have moved away from the South Bank, where I usually go to scribble.
In fact, yesterday proved a lovely time to dip my toe into the royal water. Everything was much more relaxed, though still celebratory in spirit. So here are a few photos of London the day after the patriotic night before.
And finally, a moment of solemnity:
For every person popping a champagne cork this weekend, there’s someone sleeping beneath a bridge. It’s not fair, but it is life. Reason enough for some people to stay away from this weekend’s celebrations. For me, it’s a reminder of a quote I shared in a recent blog post:
Shall we make a new rule of life? Always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary.
The man wearing the pristine Union Jack turned out to be a Big Issue seller. He scrabbled around in his bag and turned back to give the homeless guy some change. Then I turned back and gave some change to the other homeless person I’d just walked past. A little later, I got off the tube at Walthamstow and a third homeless person asked for money and I didn’t stop.
As I said, that’s life. But at least some kindness featured yesterday, all because I noticed someone wearing a Union Jack in the rain.