Unexpected Optimism

We had a cold spell in London. Not Texas cold, but a week when temperatures stayed below freezing, icy sidewalks and pockets of snow accumulation.

The past few days have brought a thaw – temperatures broke 10C on Friday and are forecast to reach 15 today. For those about to reach for a conversion table, or who remember C and F are related by some funny fraction and are trying to remember how to do math, a friend offers an easier way: Zero is cold, 10 is chilly, 20 is nice, 30 is warm, 40 is hot and 50 is Dubai.

We realized, when I “got home from work” last night that we hadn’t figured out anything for dinner. “Getting home” these days entails a ritual we started when I worked from home for a few years in the 90’s and resurrected for the pandemic – I emerge from wherever I’m working and announcing “honey, I’m home!” – silly? A bit. But also practical – it’s an overt transition between work and not-work, and it’s just as useful now as it was then.

We decided on Pizza from our local pizzeria – they’re a short walk from the flat so I called in our order and set out to retrieve it.

Walking past St. Luke’s Garden I was abruptly and inexplicably optimistic. For a moment, in the cool evening air, everything was okay. If not okay, then at least on the mend. Getting better. The city would make it through, as cities do and have done through history. Fluctuat nec mergitur, and all that.

I picked up dinner, we ate while finishing Season One of The Expanse, and I headed to bed, leaving Dawnise on the sofa, not quite ready to turn in.

The next day, after a fitful night sleep and waking up noticeably out of sorts, I’m struggling to recapture that fleeting feeling.

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