It’s finally here. The barbeque has been dusted off, you’ve dug out your favourite Havaianas and DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince is deafening your neighbours…it can only mean one thing…
After spending far too long masquerading as an Inuit, in one of the coldest winter’s in my lifetime, the sun has finally cast its spell over these chilly shores and has given us a taste of things to come. (OK, so it’s hardly Africa, but it’s a start.)
Lazy summer days fuel the season’s spontaneity and London is the perfect backdrop for the solstice; there’s so much to do that it borders on insane.
Whilst standing in my garden, I started planning; mentally brain-storming; booking advanced orders with the memory bank…
Previous year’s have seen long, liquid lunches in Brick Lane, ordering endless pitchers of Red Stripe whilst a huge parasol shields me from the sun; crate digging for old school sounds at Portobello on a Saturday afternoon, jamming by the river, iPod in attendance whilst reading the Sunday supplements.
And this year, more than ever, there’s a wealth of festivals, events and attractions; markets, film festivals, music, food, art… our cultural capital has never looked/felt/tasted so good.
For me, the Notting Hill Carnival is the summer showpiece; set amongst the fashionable enclave of white stucco-fronted houses, Londoners of all different ethnicities stand shoulder-to-shoulder to witness a colourful parade of brash and bold floats, marvel at intricately designed costumes, consume copious amounts of jerk chicken and Red Stripe, and for one day, escape their daily hum drum lives, and enjoy the moment.
Of course, an obligatory trip Stateside is on the cards (New York anyone?) but what I’m most looking forward to is abandoning the bus, going for a walk and reminding myself why I love this city so much.
So, the elbows and kneecaps have been creamed, my favourite T-shirts have been pressed and the Ray-Ban’s are looking at me, longingly waiting for the day when they can show what they are made of against that bright yellow star.
♫ Roy Hargrove – Poetry