Thursday, May 8, 2008
The ginger quarter
The weather has taken an unexpected turn for the better. The bruised, swollen rain clouds have shipped out for the summer and it’s blue skies all the way round these parts. Summer has arrived in Central London. For a bit, anyway. So not wishing to squander one single ray of sunshine, at lunchtime myself and several hundred of my fellow office dwellers cram ourselves into Cavendish Square to eat our Pret sushi, crayfish salads and various deli delights from the John Lewis food hall. Today I had ham and English mustard sandwiches and a pork pie; a perfectly acceptable lunch circa 1975. A path criss-crosses Cavendish Square, quartering it like the Scottish Saltire. In the centre is a plinth with the statue missing. Either that or it’s a statue to commemorate the Invisible Man. Large trees provide shade, giving you the option of sitting in the sun or out of it. I would say 70% prefer to feel the warmth of the sun on their skin. The remaining 30% seek out the cool of the shade. I call this The Ginger Quarter. In The Ginger Quarter you’ll find our freckly, fair skinned friends, new-born babies, Goths and me. I’m not a nappy wearing ginger Goth, but I do take azathioprine. And the sun and azathioprine are not a healthy mix. So if I don’t want to increase my chances of getting skin cancer I’ve got to spend my lunch hour huddled up with all the other translucent skinned creatures of the night. It’s like a picnic scene from a Tim Burton movie; me munching on a pork pie whilst all around me feast on the blood of virgins. But I’d rather be outside and in the shade than inside with the rain pelting the windows.