A quick peek out the windows. Looks pretty bright out there. But is it bright and cold or bright and warm? OK, I'll take the risk, I'll put on the thin jacket. I have that natural pelt all over the body to aid warming*.
Outside. And I've miscalculated. It's really warm. This is a nicely unexpected surprise. It's the day off and it's glorious. This calls for summertime music. The iPod has been primed recently with many new, weird and wonderful things. Only now, I am beginning to be paralysed by choice. Aha, sudden inspiration. I have two albums on there by Louis Prima**. They'll do nicely. Jazzy, snappy, be-boppy fun - just the thing for a warm and sunny day. I see lounging about in my immediate future but first things first. I must go clothes shopping.
I hate clothes shopping. A necessity. I have to wear clothes therefore I have to buy clothes. Use my usual smash-and-grab tactics. The trying on of the clothing is even more depressing than usual. Realise that a recent run of increased junk food and less exercise is giving the old spare tyre that delightful "yoghurt in a bin-liner" look. Put the T-shirts back. Just the jeans, thanks, Mr Clothes Shop Bloke. Oh, and a quick stop off to buy books and DVDs I don't need. Ah, that's better.
So the afternoon is mine and the day is still balmy. There is only one thing for it - to the park! Essential gear for the expedition - iPod, notebook and pen, book for the reading. Sorted, job done.
Just under two months ago, I was making this same journey to the same park for sledging and snowball fights. Now it's time for sitting in the sun. Gotta love that London weather. Also, this seems to be becoming a theme of my Monday lieu days. I resist the urge to buy an ice cream from the ice cream van en route this time.
Into the park now. Sun still shining. People dotted here and there, enjoying the day. The music shifts. It's Louis Armstrong Sings Disney Hits The Satchmo Way now***. It seems that today's music is linked by Louis' and Disney. Odd little bit of synchronicity there.
A brief spell sat at the top of the hill looking out over London - the Maritime Museum, the Naval College, the Thames. All present and correct and looking good in the brightness of the day. The park is comforting and calming yet at the same time (and a little paradoxically) sweeping and epic and historic. I feel that surge of simple love you get for a place you know oh-so-well and yet somehow have not grown tired of.
OK, time to stretch out. Tree found, body parked at a leaning angle and notebook unpacked. Thoughts flow from pen to page while the sounds of park life continue on in the background; a gentle rise and fall of conversation, laughs and shouts. Satchmo is crooning Chim Chim Cheroo in the ears and a smile is inescapable. Then the writing is done and it's time to read. Book out, pages opened and other worlds entered. The day spins on and I am content.
Summer might be a little way off yet but spring is beginning to be sprung.
* Temples upwards excepted.
** Most famous these days for being the voice of King Louis, the King of the Swingers, in the Jungle Book.
*** I did say that my music choices were weird and wonderful.