Sunday, August 01, 2004

"I love this city!"
Now this is what makes a perfect sunny summer Sunday in the city...

We didn't know what was going on out there when we set out to do some shopping but we wandered along, enjoying the sun and the quiet streets and discovered Trafalgar Square filled with steelbands playing in the sunlight, the closest band bursting into a cracking version of Abba's Dancing Queen just as we approached. A bunch of skinny white girls started dancing in the space in front of the band and there was a distinct lack of interest from the slightly more substantial looking black girls going for it on the drums who would no doubt have been more impressed if a crowd of big-hipped proper dancehall queens had come by to shake their thang.

On our return trip, they kind of got their wish: we saw the truly joyous sight of an aged Indian lady in a fabulous red and gold sari dancing solo in the sunlight, throwing some seriously cool traditional Indian dance moves to the uplifting Caribbean beat...

And we went shopping in Chinatown which was strangely empty for a Sunday afternoon and sniffed at durians and marvelled at the silkworm cocoon-like Dragon's Beard sweets then strolled back through St James Park and saw the pelicans, the squirrels and the ducks. The City of Bristol Brass Band was playing sedately to a mainly stationary audience of old people in deckchairs and the contrast to the foot-tapping, arse-wiggling beats of Trafalgar Square made us smile. An ice-cream and a quick trip around the ICA bookshop completed the day.

Ken Livingstone: I salute you! We saw London today at its marvellous, mad and magical best.

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