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Dreams of the North…

July 11, 2010

I spent this weekend in London, something I normally love. I spent much of my childhood in the capital, due to both sides of my family hailing from there, the South East specifically. That said, although my reason for going to London this weekend was entirely worthy and I enjoyed it immensely (Ideas For Freedom 2010 – come to the next one), it made me realise that if there is one thing smaller cities do better than big ones, it’s the heat!

London was absolutely stiflingly hot, the rays reflecting off the flagstones into a still and polluted air. The pretty streets in Archway/Highgate did nothing to quell my clammy huffing and puffing, unfortunately. The whole city seemed an unbearable place to be, the pockets of green dried to yellow and the tube was…well…a sweat box.

I know Sheffield was hot too, but what we seem to do better outside of London is adapting to the heat. If it’s a hot day I may call off my busy schedule and keep cool with a beer and a day in the park. Sheffield city centre quietens down on hot days, unless it’s the kids running through the Peace Gardens fountains to cool off. In London, despite the soaring and unbearable temperatures, hundreds of people decamped our tube to stomp up and down Oxford Street or Camden High Street. Is this really where you want to be on such a day, people? In spite of what I said above, I still would’ve thought Hyde Park would’ve been a preferable spot to lounge, but as of 3pm Sunday everywhere other than Speaker’s Corner (the usual religious nuts) was very sparsely populated. The lovely community centre we spent the weekend in was a pleasant enough venue in the most part, with ample shade and cool spots. I think in the North we know when to slow the pace – in London I noticed no difference in the hordes to any other weekend there I’ve spent. Learn to chill my southern friends, you’ll live longer!

So as we headed back up the M1 (on an all-too-stuffy Megabus; never again on a summer’s day) the clouds began to form over the midlands and we felt a grey glow of familiarity. We didn’t mind the clouds for once, because the dense London air had turned us against the sun. But Sheffield sun is different anyway – clean and for the most part, fresh. We have ample parks and woodland across the region, and you don’t have to pay a small fortune in public transport fees to get there (and ice creams don’t cost £4).

So in conclusion: London, I love you, but in the high twenties and up, you gotta learn to chill.

* * *

So, what are we all looking forward to coming up? Well, this weekend brings the (rescheduled) Sharrow Chef of the Year Competition, and our very own SweetKomal is one of the judges. Come on down to the old Sharrow Junior School (map here) to the event which coincides with the Sharrow Flea Market this Sunday 18th July. If that wasn’t enough to tempt you, they’re also running a ‘The Big Lunch‘ event there, so you’ve got no excuse to get down and enjoy some food whilst meeting new friends!

If you’d like to know more about these events, check out the Sharrow Community Forum website here.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Amber permalink
    July 12, 2010 9:10 am

    Rosie – i was also in London and it was unbearable, i came home a day early cause of the crazy heat/humidity!! NOT enjoyable… those londoners sure do need to chill :) x

  2. July 16, 2010 6:20 pm

    You’re so right, it’s just horrible I don’t know how anyone ever looks smart for work!

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