Thursday, 5 August 2010

London: abuzz with creativity...and the odd bumbling adult

How thrilling. A giant maze bang in the middle of Trafalgar Square, bestowing little pieces of history about some of London's most known and loved streets. History in bite-sized chunks; but the child in me leapt for an entirely different reason: the chance to play hide-and-seek. So on to Trafalgar Square I trod, with my friend in tow. Not even the frankly appalling weather could dampen my mood, and that was after being drenched in the morning after spending what felt like an eternity ducking into shops to avoid the pelting rain, nor the fountain at Trafalgar that kept spraying over us every time there was a gust of wind. When the security guard at the entrance finally ushered us in, we squealed excitedly in his face, and I'm sure we both registered the withering look he gave us in return. But we didn't care. We were now in the lush greenery that muffled the traffic somewhat, and unleashed a pair of childish twenty-something year olds unto unsuspecting tourists in the maze. For the next half hour or so, suffice it to say that we didn't act our age.

My favourite discovery was St Christoper's Place, a quaint cobble stoned alleyway filled with exclusive shops and restaurants just off a paradoxically noisy and crowded Oxford Street. With the rain glistening on the shop windows and pavements, there was an unmistakeable romantic air that made me think of Romeo and Juliet (now might be a good time to mention that I'm given to the odd bit of melodrama).

I imagine the maze will be hugely popular among children and adults alike. It is certainly a testament to the creative tendencies of this great city.

As we reluctantly made our way out of the maze and walked towards Piccadilly Circus, we spotted one of the docking stations for the new cycle hire scheme, and as if by rote, the pair of us gravitated towards it even though we couldn't ride because we hadn’t pre-registered. I was reminded of the time last year when I was reacquainted with a bike after at least eight years of not riding; how empowered by my friends, I was soon riding on some of the busiest streets in Paris - Rue de Rivoli, Boulevard St Michel, anyone?

Back in the present, I don't know whose bright idea it was to jump on the bikes and begin an impromptu photo shoot. No modest poses here, sir. I'm talking outrageous America's Next Top Model poses that would certainly make for good viewing if anyone wanted to have a laugh. I clocked the throngs of people who passed by us and flashed indulgent smiles (or were they pitying smiles?), and the buses packed with rush hour crowds, and instead of that calming us down, we were spurred on.

Afterwards, my friend said, completely deadpan, 'Have you ever considered modelling?'

I dread to think what images of us have been caught on CCTV's, not to mention stray digital cameras, across Central London.

Now I just have to hope I don't run into anybody who says, 'Ah it's you! That git who was posing on the bikes at Piccadilly Circus...'

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