All year round London is busy. Buses full. Trains packed. The commute is long and arduous. My bus journey is punctuated by regular stopping, starting, stopping again. The bell dings. People barge passed each other, “Excuse me,” “Sorry”. The traffic builds. Roads line with red buses, their awkward movements block cyclists. They do their best to squeeze passed.
But in Summer, London breathes a little easier. It relaxes and takes a well-earned break. People leave and tourists replace them, but they don’t join in the morning commute. Seats on the train lay bare with the odd person dotted between. No pushing, squeezing, barging passed. No “Sorry”s, ‘Scuse me”s. No ringing in work late, the trains (again). No joining the end of a long queue for a bus in the rain only to stand for the whole journey nestled in someone’s armpit.
I know in a few weeks it will be busy again. Students go back to university, commuters flood back from their holiday homes, ready for work again. In the busyness I have to remind myself that this is what London does. It will settle down after a while. Back in to its familiar rhythm. The one we know and we are used to. The busyness is comforting, until next year when London breathes again.