The London Cypriot Villager's Blog

Its a gloriously sunny day. The sun rays deliciously embrace me within the confines of the tube carriage.  I am lucky enough to be overground for half of my journey so I see fewer rats than usual. Since the weather has blessed us the rats have stayed in their transformed state. Jackets casually slung over shoulders, pubs bursting at the brim and any green patch littered with bodies.

People are smiling. On the tube, out walking. I haven’t been shoved, shouted at or shuffled along. I am really liking this version of London. Its filled with optimism, unfulfilled new years resolutions that still have hope and the onset of city bonuses. The darkness of January and February has been lifted. Spring in London is better than I could’ve imagined and im really looking forward to summer in the city.

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Today I awoke to rain. But determined not to let it ruin my day I promised myself whatever the weather was doing at lunch I would still venture out.

At 12.30 I squeezed my umbrella in my bag and took to Fleet Street.  I charged towards the crowds and even used my elbows a few times to get through.  I marvelled at the queues outside the sandwich shops as I chose the one with the least amount of people to buy my wrap.

With lunch in one hand and my camera phone in the other I snuck down back roads to be a secret tourist. Under archways I ducked and over cobbled stones I walked.

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I took in buildings and architecture. I looked at ornate doorways and wondered what lay behind.

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I sat outside to eat my lunch. It was on a cold hard slab of concrete amongst building works, but I was still outside abd the sun was still warming my soul.

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The sun is shining this morning.  It fills my soul with contentment and I long to smile.  However sitting on a Greater East Anglia train smiling would attract stares of disgust from my fellow passengers.  I would be deemed crazy.  I mean what could I possibily have to smile about? Im on my way to work to spend the next eight hours of my life in a strobe lit building making a decent wage but not as decent as the big wig pulling the strings.  So the only conclusion the rats can come up with is that im a nutter. I keep my smile inside and allow the British sun to caress my hair and energise my fingers and toes.

I look forward to escaping in my lunch hour and witnessing everyone outside.

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As long as the sun is shining, Im keeping positive!

Today I witnessed a miraculous change in the city rats. I stepped outside in my lunch hour and squinted at the bright sunshine. I was expecting rain today not a heat wave.  I walked towards Holborn and saw not rats but humans. They had shed their black jackets and rolled up the sleeves of their stiff shirts now becoming slack from the sun rays. They milled about next to patches of greenery eating their lunch. There was chatter and smiles and I too felt content at the elevation of witnessing the transformation.

Walking home, the pubs normally vacant on a Monday night were brimming with jovial activity.  A sound I hadn’t heard before in the city hit me in the back as I passed a back alley. A group of transformers were laughing loudly and happily. The force of the sound echoing through the streets pushed me forward like a wave. 

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I think I could grow fond of this version of London.

Ive discovered im water and the rats are slimy like engine oil. We don’t mix. Why should I let the robotic nature of these city rats get me down?

Today I walked to work with a smile on my face and I found there are non vermin in the city just like me. Today three people smiled at me. I even got a ‘sorry’ instead of a tutt. It’s not alit when you think there are approximately six million Londoners, but it’s a start.

Even the ticket inspectors today bore a very strong resemblance to humans. They displayed politeness and friendliness. I am starting to think Londoners have hope.

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My pink trainers shine like a warning beacon in a vast swarm of blackness, repelling the rats.

Today ive discovered a new breed of rodent.  The fitness freak rat. They shed their black suits and adorn brightly coloured lycra and they use their lunch hour to run up and down Victoria Embankment. 

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In Cyprus the thought of spending an hour running would be enough to give anyone a mild heart attack. How can these people choose a run over food? I think I must be doing something wrong.  Im walking at a gentle pace watching them sprint past huffing and puffing, their problems at work or at home following them close behind. I see them throw nervous glances over their shoulder.

I pity the fitness freak rats. In the morning they’re seen miserably running to work. At lunch they are still on the city treadmill whilst looking red and swollen. In the evening they run away from the place they’ve been running to the whole day!

Today as I walk to work I put in my earphones but dont turn on the music. I want to hear the sounds of the city, but muffled. Im not ready to absorb all the noise yet. I want to hear the roadworks but as a gentle drumming not a harsh clanging. I want to hear snippets of valentines conversations but not all the sordid details.

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At 8.30am the city consumers were already scurrying around card shops picking up the first thing they laid their eyes on. No thought going into their purchases. I smiled proudly at the fact I was dressed head to toe in black; a direct rebellion against my company’s ‘wear pink to work day’.

As I crossed at the zebra crossing a cyclist wearing a Phantom of the Opera mask screeched past me nearly ripping off my left toe! I didn’t’nt shout abuse at him. I figured he was rushing to see his Valentine.  Or more likely he was late for work. I wonder at the significance of the mask but decide its best if I don’t dwell on the madness of others.

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  • maria1ant: I agree. There are no manners or politeness in the modern day Londoner. Its up to us I guess to change it and not be rude like the rest of them!
  • maria1ant: Thank you Hayley x
  • Johnlochrie@rocketmail.com: I don’t go into London anymore, unless it’s to go to a bar or a restaurant, that’s all it’s good for in my opinion, the commun

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