Monday, 23 July 2012

Doesn't seem to be a shadow in the city

London is scorching. The asphalt is melting and finally I can leave my umbrellas in the hallway. I'm glad the last week of my 20s are finally going to feel like summer.

Yesterday we schlepped to Nunhead for a friend's barbecue. Nunhead has many hills, and in summer it seems hotter than anywhere else in south London, but the trip is usually worth the aches. I can't think of too many better ways to spend a sunlit Sunday than sitting in someone's back garden with meat cooking, drinks cooling, Aerosmith and Thin Lizzy Spotifying, and good people talking about European festivals, the problem with 'girl bands' and the wonder of Springsteen. I've lived in Peckham for three years now, and one sensation I will always associate with it is that hazy, can't-quite-see-out-of-the-lower-corners-of-my-vision, sunbleached late afternoon feeling that takes you over as you walk home after drinking in the sunshine. I never felt it anywhere else; picnics in north London never left me so hazed out, even if they went on twice as long. Perhaps Peckham has its own microclimate. It's almost exhausting but it feels like friends and not at all like work, and I know I'll always remember it.

Thirty is an odd one. I don't really care about life landmarks like this - I'm more concerned with banking treasured memories than marking off milestones But I can't deny it feels a bit odd. I feel accelerated; I feel like I have to hurry up and Get Things Done. I've always been scared of missing out, not having all the fun I could, letting the good times pass me by. So much so that in my mostly-legal hedonism I've probably not achieved some of the serious shit I could have. I want to be the girl with the most cake, both had and kept; I have no interest in putting away childish things or retreating into grown up greyness, but I know I need to put more time and push into painting, find a better-paying day-job, and generally figure my shit out. Suddenly I realise that the kids coming up from behind are ten years younger than me. Bruce Springsteen was 26 when he made Born to Run, and that was his third record. I have some catching up to do.

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