Friday, 21 July 2006


The only way to cool down after travelling in the glasshouse train, tube or bus is to eat ice-cream. Sitting with a not-quite-cold-enough magnum (the UK's no.1 hand held) next to the Golden Hinde I watch too-hot-after-work londoners mingle with tourists.

The tourists wear shorts, bikini tops, teeshirts and suntans. The londoners have hot feet, red faces and sweaty backed shirts. Women in wedge high heels struggle on the cobbled street. A man in a distressed pirate outfit leads a group of teenaged tourists round a london walk, stopping next to me (ahhaarrr me hearties, gather round) to talk about Sir Francis Drake's three year voyage round the world pilfering off the Spanish.

Lots of couples come by. A square-jawed blond rugby player type with his square-jawed horsey companion. A man with a body-morphing hobby (all neck, arms and back muscles sculpted to weightlifter proportions, covered in tattoos) with his woman in white. A white haired man in a wheelchair exchanges pleasantries with me because I'm enjoying an ice-cream, his wife walking along after him shouting back at me as she disappears round the corner, "if you wait there long enough you'll see the actors arriving. We're going to the Globe this evening, the both of us..."

Piano and singing seep out of the event on the Golden Hinde. Gilbert and Sullivan.

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