The weather in the south of England generally comes in two kinds: grey, and sunny. Contrary to received wisdom, it doesn’t actually rain that much; in fact, it rains so little that a water shortage is a frequent problem.
Having, it seems, broken through the last many months of grey weather, London has been remarkably pleasant this last fortnight. I’ve been able to enjoy walks to and from work along the banks of the Thames. Whilst going via the river adds ten minutes to the walk, it is more pleasant by far.
Since my office is close to the South Bank, I sometimes take a midday break on a sunny day and walk up there to relax and avoid e-thrombosis.
Today, as I was leaning on the railings, I saw a man standing on the steps down to the water. I wasn’t quite sure what he was doing until I looked a bit further down. He had brought his dog (more accurately, a bitch) for a swim in the river. It was quite lovely, really. She stood on the step and tried to drink from the river, but was defeated by the movement of the waves until a particularly large wave washed completely—and, apparently, unexpectedly—over her head. Then she leapt into the river and took a swim. I hadn’t imagined that doggy paddle was quite so efficient, but she was soon a quarter of the way out into the river before the man whistled her back. This happened three or four times; I would have liked to see her try to make it all the way! It was the first time that I had seen a dog in the Thames.
After work, I needed to buy some bread for tomorrow’s sandwiches. I decided to go to Waterloo to get it: although it’s the wrong way to get home, there are several shops there, and the chance of actually finding something is greater. Well, I succeeded. Nothing interesting so far, admittedly. I went down to the Underground station to take the Jubilee line home.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. There were no westbound trains, but I was going east. However, due to the general disruption, the eastbound trains were also adversely affected, and the journey took twice as long as it should have; most of the wasted time was spent in tunnels waiting for green lights.
On the positive side, the Tube staff did their best to keep us informed of the situation over the PA; what a strange situation that was! Apparently, someone had been ‘surfing’ on the back of the train near Baker Street. Unsurprisingly, they had to stop the train to investigate. A later announcement added the detail that the ‘surfer’ had been ‘apprehended’ in the tunnel.
I’ve got to admit, I was a litle disappointed to hear that the ‘surfer’ had avoided a deserved Darwin award. In a way, I’d have been gratified to hear that the train was delayed while they scraped the recently-abdicated-from-the-gene-pool ‘surfer’ off the tracks instead of them being arrested intact. But then, I am a bad person.