This edition of Things that happened today is unconventionally not about things that happened today, but rather things that have happened recently that I've collated together. I present several slightly odd stories from London, the city where slightly odd things happen.
There had been something of a small storm the night before I cycled to work one day down damp streets wrapped in the slight chill of winter. Yeah, poetic. Anyway, I was cycling along when I heard a motorbike behind me revving up to overtake. Unexpectedly however, he merely pulled alongside me, and shouted at me, a complete stranger, "Windy last night wasn't it? I thought the roof was going to blow off!"
I managed to convey some kind of friendly but confused acknowledgement, and he responded with a cheerful response along the lines of "bit better this morning" before roaring off into traffic.
London's full of friendly people, which is nice, just a bit surreal sometimes.
On at least two occasions during March I've noticed that 123 Pall Mall has been occupied by a group of anti-capitalism protestors of some kind. I'm not sure what 123 Pall Mall is exactly - Street view suggests its part of the IoD but it apparently isn't any more. This article provides a bit more depth about the purpose of the occupation - apparently the building is currently unused and the group are using it for workshops and running a soup kitchen for the homeless.
Anyway, the point of me mentioning this was that one time when I passed by they had a guy up on the balcony with a megaphone. Normally in these situations he'd just be ranting angrily but to his credit he was bashing capitalism with a bit of wit, in the style of a tube announcer. My favourite bit:
"Next stop Westminster. Please mind the gap... between the rich and poor."
I was cycling through Leicester Square one morning and there was a cycle courier ahead of me, riding a purple frame bike with purple wheels. She stopped to wait for a taxi ahead to manoeuvre. Close by, two homeless men were sat in a doorway. One of them had a massive traffic cone, and he put it to his mouth and shouted "Is that a new bike?"
The girl glanced doubtfully at her bike for a moment before responding with "No, it's three years old."
The homeless guy nodded and bellowed back. "Well it's very nice."
The cyclist nodded politely and set off again.
Like I said. Nice, but surreal.
The other day I saw a woman on the street walking a cat. On a leash. She'd stopped to let it sniff the wheel of a parked car. I'm not making this up.