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Two squares

Yesterday evening was strange. Hither Green station was full of people trying to catch trains with the use of no information at all. No-one knew when or which trains would come, computers were down, screens were silent... people stood on the bridge between platforms, squinting at snow and signal lights; the moment any approaching train committed to platform 5 (London Bridge, Cannon Street) or platform 3 (Waterloo East, Charing X) droves of anguished commuters sprinted to one or the other, some pingponging between both with a lemming determination to die warm; then the train came, we clambered aboard and eventually trundled into town, to be greeted by the police.

The tubes were shut. The police had cordoned off Trafalgar Square, vans and shields everywhere, all looking a bit grim. I asked a frozen newspaper vendor what was going on. 'Students' he creaked. I tried to look, and saw about 30 of them, as opposed to the hundreds of police all around the square. They didn't need to worry about mobs breaking into Tory headquarters this time; the protesters were more likely to bring down anyone carrying a thermos flask. The cold was bitter and biting, a greywhite world. Nelson's column had been graffiti'd at the bottom. I saw the word 'Revolution.'

Because I couldn't enter Trafalgar, I went a stone's throw up the road, not two minutes walk into Leicester Square which was completely transformed for the royal premier of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The little garden in the square is surrounded by railings, gates open at either end; this time the way in was via huge gilt picture frames recognisable to any passing Narnian. Blue and white trees sparkled in the snow and between them stood a very familiar lamp post. There was to be some kind of celebration...no fauns or minotaurs turned up, just X Factor finalists being interviewed and a big stage. People were queuing to get in. Lots of fake furs and long dresses...no kids though. Guess it was a bit cold and late for them.

I walked on and the snow walked with me.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
semyaza
Dec. 10th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
OT but: Has your address changed? I want to send you a card and I'm not sure if the address I have is an old one.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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