Monday, 7 March 2011

You Shall Not Pass

So freed at last and safely back to London, I find signs of city eccentricity everywhere. Traits I'd thought were unique to the cut-off countryside abound in London, the place with the highest Starbuck-density in the world.

My walk to work has by now been honed with such precision that it now most days falls under twenty minutes in length (the trainers are becoming a fixture, I'm afraid - now teamed with a balaclava to save my pride). This walking record can only be achieved with a slightly anarchic attitude to roads: not for Kate in the Countryside the authorised crossing route. Don't be absurd.

Damn impediment
Past Buckingham Palace I go, cutting across the traffic with cheerful London-learnt unconcern. Occasionally unsuspecting tourists follow me. When a royal motorbike cavalcade speeds round the corner towards us, their shrieks of French or Chinese incomprehension amuse me for the remaining journey.

I sneak through a gap in the railings lining the pavement, which saves an extra twenty seconds, and then march down the Mall to the office.

This gap in the railings was a particular route-coup, only recently found, but it's proving the most difficult to employ. Near the Palace, Police loiter purposefully all day, mostly directing tourists and seeking out idle terrorists on a day trip to see the queen. But one, it seems, has a campaign of his own.
Disclaimer: this is not me

Last week, I reached my special railings-gap to find some police tape fastened across it: 'POLICE LINE. DO NOT CROSS'. A fearsome barrier indeed. In the morning, weakened by sleepiness, I obeyed, and paid the 20-second price. Happily, by evening some rogue had torn it down and fashioned it into a bow round the nearest lamppost.

The following day, things got serious. A large orange cone had been placed in the gap. My opponent means business. Except that if anything, the cone makes progress easier, acting as a handrail when I skip through the still-perfectly-adequate gap.

It was on the return journey last night that I found I had an audience. A parked police car yards from the disputed territory contained a single, focussed-looking gent. I saw him looking at me, smiled, and, in deference to his brainy cone scheme (I assume it's his - what else could he be doing there?), walked round the railings once more.

Defeated today, true. But I'll be back.

To be continued…


  1. kate vs. the police? think you should change the blog name to 'kate in anarchy'

    p.s. quickest comment ever? think so.