Town mouse on summer congestion

I love London in the summer. But it’s got nothing to do with the sunshine (or lack of it), the blooming parks, the cafe culture desperately mimicking a piazza, but with lorries thundering past just a few inches away. The smog is like fresh air to a townie and the smell of rotting rubbish in the bags left for hours on the pavement akin to that of freshly cut grass. All this is good. But what’s really great is the lack of commuters and schoolchildren (or rather, their parents) clogging up the streets and Underground trains in their usual numbers. Still, there’s always a snail in the rose garden, and this comes in the form of tourists. I don’t mind them too much generally, but I do mind them first thing in the morning as I hurry to work.

For those of you planning a trip to London, please try to blend in seamlessly by ensuring that you stand on the right side of the escalator (right is correct, left is wrong); don’t hover at the Tube doorway wondering which way to go while we all wait impatiently to get on; and don’t try to swipe a card ticket on the Oyster yellow circle. Then we should all get on just fine.