Saturday, June 17, 2023

A few days


A few days in London with family. 

The weather is hot but not humid.

By late afternoon the streets are busy and all the outside cafe tables full. Some restaurants manage to squeeze in not two but three evening sittings. Queues at trendy restaurants have become a thing. With unemployment running at 3.8% ( effectively non-existent ) there is a definite shortage of staff. Those shop and restaurant owners who haven't adjusted their wages ( and prices ) higher in this new environment are suffering. Pre-Brexit the UK relied on employees from the EU to run the hospitality industry. Now that source of labour has largely been closed off - with painful consequences for some. Angus notes that the business suit is a semi rarity and the neck tie an endangered species.

There's a Swedish village with bars selling Swedish aquavit.

The papers may be full of dire economic news but no one has told the good natured people out enjoying themselves. Law abiding 20 somethings stand crammed together behind the pavement barriers outside pubs dutifully leaving a path for pedestrians to navigate their way alongside . 

Having moved back after two decades abroad you get the sense that you're in a place that's brash and confident and more than a little quirky. It's certainly a world apart from the wee town on the Scottish coast or the depths of France profonde...or Paris or Berlin.  In the super busy international hotel the woman behind reception looks at our reservation and comments ' You've come a long way '. This says a lot about English spatial perception. She says the hotel is fully booked and estimates the guests to be  40%  American, 20% from the Middle Eastern, 30% from Asia and the remaining 10% to be Europeans. Before Brexit the European number would have been much higher.

North of the border the sun is also shining and the wee town is set for a weekend of partying :


WFT Nobby said...

From the NW Highlands to Central London, the negative effects of Brexit, particularly on the hospitality industry, continue to be felt.
But the necktie always was a ridiculous garment. Good riddance, I say.
Cheers! Gail.

Coppa's girl said...

It sounds as though London is living up to a Cosmopolitan vibe, as opposed to being unashamedly British. Have a great weekend.
Good riddance to neckties too, say I, but what do you buy an ancient non-trendy male member of the family for Christmas or birthday? Yet more socks? I can remember wearing a tie at school, as I expect some of your more mature British lady followers do too.

jabblog said...

Brexit has a lot to answer for.
Small children are still expected to wear ties in some, mostly independent, schools. Larger children, mainly boys, have to wear them at secondary school. Unhygienic things, ties.

Travel said...

It is great to see London, I miss it (March 2020 was the last brief visit.) I am thinking about getting rid of all but one or two ties, I can't remember the last time I wore one.

Charlotte said...

Wonderful pictures and nice to read about London today. I know you can’t wait to be back in your own home. Safe travels.

Jake of Florida said...

Love the graduation video with so many happy, positive, enthusiastic young'uns!

Liz said...

London is increasingly a different country from the rest of the UK. Over the last few decades it has felt very much in its own little bubble. I still love the place but whenever I go back there I find it a quite alien - yes brash and confident- and I do wonder whether it's built on anything sustainable.

CheerfulMonk said...

Thank you for continuing to post. You mean a lot to us.