Sunday, 8 June 2008


Today is the first official day of summer. Not that this is the official, official first day of summer. I haven't any idea when that is. I could Google it, but I don't really want to. The point is that it finally FELT like summer to me today. I don't know why today; it's not like there haven't been other sunny, summery, wonderful, skirt wearing, ice cream eating days, but today just felt like summer. Actually, I know what it is. I had lunch on the terrace at Somerset House this afternoon (gin and tonic for starters; fig, roasted tomato, buffalo mozzarella, and rocket salad for the main). Unfortunately it isn't the sort of place you go for the food, rather for the scenery. Someday someone will get the balance right and we'll have a café/restaurant with superb food and scenery, but alas, until then, I'll make do with feeling like I'm at a very civilised version of one of Gatsby's parties. The terrace itself is wonderful and for those who haven't been, you really are missing out on one of the hidden-ish pleasures of London.

But I'm getting sidetracked here. Summer. Somerset House. There wasn't anything particularly summery about my terrace lunch, though it was pleasant enough. But when I walked through the main courtyard it slapped me in the face. All the screaming, shrieking children running around like Tasmanian devils, playing, crazed and half naked in the fountains. It took me a second to place the smell. Ah ha! Chlorine! If there is one smell that sums up summer for me, chlorine is it. A childhood spent almost entirely in swimming pools is to blame for this curious Pavlovian response. Chlorine = summer.

And now, after all of today's exertion, I'm going to watch a borrowed DVD of Transformers. Because perhaps even more than chlorine, nothing says summer quite like a really crap film.

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