21 June, 2006

Longest day

Can it really be six months?

It feels like it should be much longer, much much longer. Half a year isn't a particularly epic stretch, but it's one that carries the burden of being more than just a few months and of therefore implying something substantial.

At least on paper, albeit of the virtual kind, it looks like I've had a pretty turbulent six months - just as well given my decision to write about it here. In my head, though, it could well be six years. Still, what I wouldn't give for an evening that gets dark when it should (teatime) and a morning that doesn't wake up you with the sun at 4am.

These truly are the longest days. I haven't slept right through the night for a fair number of weeks, being repeatedly woken whenever it starts getting light and again when some selflessly loud lorry decides to pull up just down the road and make as much noise as possible for a few idle minutes.

The blinds in my bedroom fail on every level, letting too much sun in when I don't want it and not enough light when I do, besides making a cacophony of clattering in even the tinest of a breeze. It feels like I'm being subject to a hell of a lot more of the wrong kind of light altogether in London, though science implies the days are longer the further north you travel and hence I'm getting a little less sun here than in Liverpool.

There's also the fact that I'm no longer living somewhere which operates according to the rules of suburbia. This place doesn't close down of an evening when folk pull their curtains and bed down for the night. Events conspire to go on happening around the clock.

The other night, for instance, a bunch of binmen decided to have a row at 4.15am. Early on Sunday morning there always seems to be a girl sobbing violently somewhere in the vicinity. The first Underground trains of the day rattle past somewhere round 5am. And just after 11.00pm there is always, without fail, a kerfuffle in the car park below me when the exit barrier stops working and there's one car left trapped inside.

All this comical commotion conspires to make long days even more interminable, to the extent of never truly ending at all. At least from now on there's the consolation of knowing there are a few less minutes of daylight every evening, which in turn means increasingly less opportunity for the sun to scorch itself quite so relentlessly upon the city, and in turn less scope for being woken up in the small hours by people having urinating competitions by the dustbins. Which really is taking the piss.


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