#7: The London Fog
London and Fog! When these two come together, it is time to be a writer!
– Mehmet Murat ildan
I rolled over in bed this morning, full of thoughts about my day. One of them, lately, and not to suggest I don’t plan ahead, because I do, it’s just that I hadn’t completely finished compiling this list before I started it, anyway, one of my questions is what will I write about today?, oh, and how to stop abusing run-on sentences and commas. But that’s another issue entirely. As I mentioned though, I rolled over. From the side where I’m facing my mirrors and hiding from the light coming in the window, to looking out the window. And out the window was the answer to my question.
London Fog. Historically renowned, and inspiration for one of my favorite jazz songs, which of course I listened to upon getting up. Actually, the London Fog most people think of was in fact pollution that plagued the city until the Great Smog of 1952. See some amazing pictures on this Buzzfeed article, and think about that: London had a Great Smog. Not an Okay Smog, or an Alright Smog. A fucking GREAT SMOG. That’s how it was back then. This morning however, was the normal fog, not smog, and it brought a smile to my face. We haven’t had fog in London since the Spring. Aside from it being one of the hottest days of the year, it was also one of the last hot days in 2013, and to know that Autumn is finally approaching is a welcome change of pace. I mean, I love the sunshine (you’ll see in a few days), but London needs some dynamic weather. I was promised rain, dammit!
One of the most fascinating things I love about London is the fact that it’s beautiful no matter what the weather. Writers have been discussing this, obliquely and plainly, for centuries. But the fog is the most interesting, because it obscures everything. Who would know than an entire city could disappear from sight under a ground-level cloud cover? That the clarity and stark beauty of London could be simply reduced to whitish grey? It’s a magical thing, not the least because the fog nowadays doesn’t lead to the kind of fatalities that it used to (12,000+ people died as a result of living in The Big Smoke!). Now, it has the beauty of seeming like a mysterious veil, pulled over a lovely face. I know what’s there, but I just have to patiently wait to see it in all its glory again.
The photos in this entry were taken over the course of the year. All three show the same view: my balcony by day, by night, and by fog.