Kingdom of Rain

or More Complaints About the Weather

After my complaint, Friday seemed promising. It was mostly cloudy, but that just means that it was also partly sunny. This isn’t much but it’s better than nothing. I’ll take what I can. I ventured down into central London in the morning and as I entered the Tube I noticed a sign: “due to a fire, all Eurostar service is cancelled.” What. The. Fuck? My anxiety shot up; I have a Eurostar train to catch on Monday morning.

My first instinct was to find an internet cafe to see if I can get a sense for what’s going on. There’s no shortage of them in Willesden, but finding one in central London was a task and a half. After wandering side-streets for a while I walked up to the third floor of a place next to a restaurant in Chinatown. I think I was the only white guy they’ve had in that shop all week. I logged on and went straight for the Eurostar site (and Twitter second) and read the announcements. Friday cancelled. Saturday possibly cancelled too. Should be good after that.

Of course, “good” is relative. I imagine the backlog of stranded passengers will push the system to its limit after it goes back into service. I expect delays. Thank fuck I booked this well in advance because I might be truly screwed otherwise. Still, this was more stress than I cared for. I headed out of the city towards the quiet, wooded confines of Hampstead Heath.

This was nice. Beautiful houses on little, narrow streets. 2 Willow Road. A nice, quiet pond with all sorts of birds. I sat down on a bench listening to bird calls and breathing in the air. The sun even came out. I walked through the woods and up a hill to a point where I had a good view of the city of London. Took out my camera and took some pictures and that’s about when it started to rain. First a little spittle then, as if the weather was spiting me, downpour. A serious fucking downpour, with hail, that overwhelmed my umbrella. Sure, my head remained dry but my pants were soaked, my shoes were soaked right through to my socks, my bag was soaked and its contents, a book[1], a London atlas, a camera, were wet. Thankfully, my camera is weather-proof.

Hail and rain

I took shelter under a bus stop with some other unfortunate sods. I was on the way to Kenwood House to see some art, but I was soaked and in need of a change and no longer in the mood so I caught the next bus to Finchley Road and took the train home from there. And when I arrived home, the sun came out. Fuck you too, England. I leave Monday. Hopefully.

  1. It’s OK, it’s only a Rick Moody book.
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