Wednesday, October 29, 2008

exasperating but entertaining London weather (and Snow in October!)

As we walked out of the house, a brilliant fresh air filled our lungs. My favourite weather: Bright sunshine, clear blue skies with some white touches, and 6-9 degrees temperature that refreshes your brains and shivers your body to life. This was literally a cool setting.

The aim was to get to the Turkish Consulate by 13:30 for me to apply for an extension of my passport. A change of routes, I thought, would be a good idea. Took the train to Battersea Park Station and had a random stroll around the park where I had never been before. The cotton-soft concrete chimneys of the Battersea Power Station shined with a decaying glory under the sun whilst the torn-away walls of the building tried to immerse some vitalising energy. She saw them for the first time from real close. Battersea Park was hosting families with children, and families with a hound of dogs. A small pond there, a tiny botanic garden here, and we found ourselves by the Thames.

Following the river, we crossed over the Chelsea Bridge. It was already 12:00, we'd been traveling and wandering for 1.5 hours and had not eaten. Before fainting, a Lebanese shop around the poshy Sloane Square helped recover. The traffic around Knightsbridge was stuck and after jogging on the wrong street, we ran into the Consulate just around the time. A very Turkish way. It was 13:29. To my surprise, they only accepted applications until 13:00 and 13:30 was the closure time. I got some useful information to check back on Thursday. We sat on the bench to relax, the weather was getting slightly cloudy but still great.

Then the dimmer skies as the sun sets earlier these days. The pages of the books turned brownish and it was the time to head to the riverside again, to cross it over the bridge and have some dinner.

It was almost scary how many men in black suit crossed the London Bridge with us at the same time. It was around 6 PM, and all the City white-collar workers added to the grey of the city but could not destroy the enthralling Thames.

Here is a nice hint: "Fishbar" on Borough High Street just before the London Bridge Station has the best doner in town (maybe even anywhere). The wraps (durum) are well-priced and extremely filling and tasty with the sauce!

As soon as the dinner was over, it was pouring down like it never rained before!! The clear skies had cracked wide open with clouds that seemed to come from nowhere and we were soaking wet from head to feet within 2 minutes! That is London!

I went to see "The Feature" in the London Film Festival at 7 PM by the South Bank. It was a good reiteration of the 'festival air' I had been missing for some time. My humble comments here cannot make justice to this film that reminded of my enthusiast towards Paris - New York avant-garde of the 1960's and the Andy Warhol produced or affected experimental films running for 3 hours with random shots of flying cocks, sex orgies, naked musicians that I relentlessly watched at the Istanbul Film festivals in the high school years. In fact, London strips you off from the amusement of never-to-be-reached retrospective phantasmagorical visuals of earlier decades, and gives you a good mind-fuck already with the financial and urban struggles you have to go through to survive in this city. Maybe the following links can rather tell you more about the film:

What I actually want to relate to the subject of this blog is not the 177 minutes I spent in the cinema hall in a constant phase of sleeping and waking, but the experience of the London truth as soon as I left the building!

Yes, incredible to my eyes and exhausted brain, it was snowing! Snow in October in a city that rarely gets any snow at any time during the year! This was truly something remarkable. Especially considering how I had labelled the weather as 'mountain weather' in the morning due to its coldness but clear skies. Now, it was real winter as early as October with some cars even accumulating bits of snow. This was shocking but yet entertaining!..

Once again, London was surprising and this was a really 'cool' day.

1 comment: said...

Thanks for reminding me why I ran away from that frigid hell when I did.

While all of this was happening, it was a balmy 22 degrees here in Istanbul, and I went for a swim in my pool, followed by a barefoot jog on the grass.