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  • Writer's picturePaul Kilgour

A Nice Day Out - London #5 {Public toilets and the centre of everything}

Chaos reigns. It starts with a low rumbling, and a feeling of dread. Hot, sweaty, tremulous and wobbly, two thoughts spring to mind: What on earth crawled into my stomach last night? And, thank god I woke up in time! Best to avoid the full English breakfast.

The abandoned Aldwych (Strand) Station, The Strand

A little later than anticipated, due to unforeseen circumstances that I'm sure you all wanted to know about, I set off into the maelstrom. There's something rather unnerving about travelling into central London during a pandemic. Though a good two thirds of commuters on the Tube seem to be obeying orders and wearing their masks, I'm keeping a sensible distance, and avoiding the busier trains.

It is getting towards the end of October, so Omicron (or any other Mike Oldfield album, for that matter) has yet to rear its ugly head. Though we are cautious. A cough from a lady sitting opposite me on the Tube leads to the immediate departure of a young couple beside me. Only one of them masked. Nice of the woman who coughed to be wearing an N95 mask (as am I) to protect them!

King's Cross Square, King's Cross

New Oxford Street

All life is here, as they say about London. Or do they? Maybe it was somewhere else. No matter, as half the planet seem to be out in the capitol today, jostling for any four metre square space they can find. I myself am nearly terminated by the wing mirror of a bus before I've even taken one picture. Of course, if you are under 5'6" you have never had to worry about such things. Lucky you, short arse!

It is then that my earlier problem decides it's time for a sequel. I rush around the corner and come face to face with a gender neutral public toilet. I am all for gender equality, of course. As I'm sure the man (if I may be so bold to assume), in the adjacent cubicle coughing up last nights take-away would agree.

Wardour Street, Soho

Moorfields, Moorgate

I am impressed by the cleanliness of Central London. The streets have been swept, the windows gleaming. All this is a far cry from when I was a teenager in 1970's London. My overriding memory of it is that it seemed dark all the time. The buildings were dirty, the streets full of trash. Public transport was laughably poor, not to mention dangerous at night. Crime was high. It's all a bit lovely now, to be honest. I might come back!

Queen's Walk, Southbank

Temple Station

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