Timing is all.
I made the brilliant decision last night to stop off on the way home to do a little shopping in the centre of London.
Three and a half hours later, I got home, having walked nearly all of the way from Bond Street station to East Dulwich. (I did managed to find space on a bus from Elephant and Castle to Camberwell Green because, well, if you can’t find a bus at the Infanta, you’re really not trying very hard.)
And you know what? Despite all the rain, the overcrammed buses whizzing past bus stops, the fights at said bus stops, the umbrellas in the eye, the general lack of information and the many pinstriped fools acting as though the sky had fallen in because they couldn’t find a taxi to hail, despite all that, it was rather enjoyable.
An unexpected opportunity for a long city walk, carving a route from North West to South East, having almost normal human contact with Londoners along the way.
It almost humanised the place, broke, for a while, its pretence of being an unnavigably complex automatised system.
The unexpected laughs, such as walking down the Strand past a hundred or so gridlocked black cabs in a row, didn’t hurt either.