Town Mouse

Esprit de corps

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

WHEN the sun first prop­erly warms London, as it did last week, the city pal­pa­bly re­laxes. Peo­ple walk more slowly and the traf­fic seems ap­pre­cia­bly less ag­gres­sive. While wait­ing at traf­fic lights, I was cheer­fully ad­dressed by other cy­clists on three oc­ca­sions in the course of a sin­gle day, an un­prece­dented oc­cur­rence. Two of them com­mented on the weather, that time­honoured neu­tral sub­ject of Bri­tish small talk.

The third, how­ever, was flam­boy­antly dressed with a boom box mounted on the back of his bike. He pulled round the front of the wait­ing pelo­ton just be­fore the lights changed. Smil­ing back at us all, he called out ‘Broth­ers! We’re all small­wheel­ers! Cool’ be­fore ped­alling off at im­pres­sive speed, tak­ing his mu­sic with him. It took a mo­ment for the pelo­ton to re­cover and fol­low. I think he was re­mark­ing on the fact that ev­ery­one in it was on a fold­ing bike.

Hope­fully, the warmth will bring to a close an un­usu­ally long run of sick­ness in the house. Sleep­ing ar­range­ments with small, sick chil­dren in­evitably de­scend into farce. I start the night in my own bed, but with no con­fi­dence that I will re­main there. By morn­ing, I may be in a child’s bed or ejected to the spare bed­room or even onto the floor. JG

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