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Sheetal Kumar

February 10th, 2014

Bluesy weather, bluesy music….

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Sheetal Kumar

February 10th, 2014

Bluesy weather, bluesy music….

0 comments

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

At 8.30 in the morning, when I arrive for my Wednesday morning class, the New Academic Building is calm, quiet, empty. The bright lights, high ceilings, shiny colours and openness of the interior is like stepping into another world, a sharp contrast to the blustery showers of the city outside, covered in dark clouds. In the classroom, there is a background of unbroken grey to every window covered in round raindrops and running rivulets. The day is just unfurling and it’s yet another morning of drizzle, wind, the streets of London full of people under umbrellas, dashing from one place to another.

The professor starts the class by telling us this is the time of year she normally gets students coming to talk to her about homesickness or wanting to go home to sunnier climates and tells us ‘to hang in there’.

January and February are well known for being the dreariest months in this country, the days are getting longer but the sun (when we get to see it), still disappears so early, and the cool chill of the wind and water, the constant feelings of dampness, are familiar realities. Then again this means that when there are hours or even days of sunshine, the cloud-clearing blueness, sunlight and the fresh air post rain-shower are all the more appreciated.

When the world outside is so unwelcoming, it’s hard to be motivated to go out or to do anything but sit under a warm duvet and curl one’s hands around a steamy drink. But that’s the thing about London. If you only went out when the weather was good, you’d hardly ever go out. This is what I told myself last night, as I sat on my bed hearing and seeing the gigantic wind lash at the trees, the overcast sky spelling only more rain. Saturday night, blues bar in Camden, live music, drinks, dancing with friends from class or home, warm, an early night so that tomorrow could be that very productive day attacking the unremitting to-do list?

It may be that I am rarely someone to say no to a night out or the fact that I had come home ‘early’ the night before and actually done some work (on a Friday night!?), but I decided to brave the weather. Camden is full of places to spend a night out and although it may have been overtaken in ‘coolness’ by Shoreditch and Hackney of late, it still apparently remains a ‘place to be’ on a Saturday night. So much so in fact, that after we found we could hardly move and certainly couldn’t hear ourselves speak in the first bar we went to, we simply walked around the corner to find another one (‘The Forge’) with live music and a great DJ who knew how to mix West African beats and better yet, it was free. We were lucky to get a table as it was early on in the night and I have great memories of an evening of slightly nerdy conversation as well as very un-nerdy conversation, against a backdrop of live jazz, carefree dancing and laughter. Worth battling every raindrop and gust of wind for (and all the already very merry-and-loud-by-8pm people who fall on you on the tube).

So I’m glad I went out, particularly as it was with classmates and I realise the time left to ‘hang out’ is fading fast. It seems like we often say ‘we have to do this, we must get together’, and actually doing that, although an effort, is worth taking on London’s weather for. After all, as any Londoner would tell you, it’s a just a bit of rain.

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Sheetal Kumar

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