Springtime in London is a confused and wonderful beast.
Time in the spring is funny in that it doesn’t move according the normal laws of chronology. Outerwear goes from wintercoat, to spring coat, to nothing, to wintercoat again in a single week. Come to think of it, in a single day! We can blame the divisive nature of London sunlight for this. Streets can encompass two seasons at once – choose left sidewalk for vitamin d and right sidewalk for shivers!
This speaks to the London rule of layers (always have them). Maybe there exists a way to remain a consistent temperature throughout your entire commute but if there is, I haven’t found it. As it stands, I’ve resigned myself to chilliness when I leave the house, a growing level of discomfort as I descend into the Underground, and full-on overheating as I stand crammed into a Victoria line tube carriage.
Spring in London wreaks havoc on fashion – sunglasses and parka combination here, sandals and scarves duo there. And that hay fever! You can’t tell if you’re being plagued by a sore throat or if that’s just the pollen from the plane trees doing a number on your sinuses.
But then there’s that funny, dream-like time quality again. Time stretches – weekends feel longer and more full, Soho swells with after-work merrymakers. Memories blend and weave into each other, as one weekend is spent drinking prosecco on a picnic blanket in St James’s park and the next bundled up and testing out the resilience of your 11th umbrella of the year.
In a way, it makes the year last longer, because every time you encounter a sunny weekend or lunch break you feel happy anew at spring showing its magic. You feel like it HAS to be July already, because spring has already happened, but then you realize there are still months to go (in London, I’ll take every day I can get!)
Also, annoyingly and hilariously, spring almost always sets you up for disappointment. If March is this glorious, you think, wait til August! …then August ends up feeling pretty much the same; a wonderful weekend here, rainy stretch there. But this just means that you end up making the most of the weather when it chooses to play nice. And make sure you have your 12th-15th umbrellas on hand.