Have you ever been in St James’ Park tube station?
Does it give you the impression that it should have a crab problem?
I’ve asked; it doesn’t, but I can’t help but step off the train when passing through to wonder if I can hear the sea waves echoing down the tunnel, or the crunch of sand sifting between my smart work shoes.
I think Margate affected me.
Something about St James’s Park underground causes me to reminisce of the seaside.
Perhaps it’s the wall tiling, perhaps it’s the colours; it’s probably me.
And it probably is me because I would love so very much if you were to offer me the seaside as opposed to the capital.
London is not adorable, nor whimsical.
The most whimsical it gets is a degree of pomposity that endears it to the Japanese.
London at its most charming is the fact that the river leads elsewhere.
Unless of course we want to drool a little on the dreams of empire, with colossal great white buildings, lathered with muscular nudity and lions, British flags and stout-hearted pigeon poo.
During the empire, British men had muscular feet don’t you know, whilst our women were pleasantly plump as might be bespoke of some great artist of the era, conveying nobility, fertility, and justice via a patriotic curve of the hip.
Hardly the seaside though, is it?
A bucket and spade no use in these gold-paved streets.
Still, I picture little crabs earnestly busying themselves sideways, creasing me to a smile as I hear in my head the sound of shelled scuttling on gold.
I wasn’t meant to get off at St James’ Park tube station.
Nor did I mean for a moment to step off the train and out of London.
But there you go, and there I went.
Like a grotto.
Back to the crossword.