01 April 2009

Animals II: dragons and pigs

It feels like ages since I ran in London, and it turns out that it's been 3.5 weeks, what with Pembrokeshire, skiing and tower running. I'm determined to get to 60 miles in April, which doesn't really sound like that much but then I am going to the gym twice a week too. I think that's a valid excuse.

It seems like there's so much to write about. First, my second picture of animals in London.

You'll notice both of the animals that guard the City in this picture. One is the dragon, which supports the arms of the City and the origin of which is discussed in this article that I frankly couldn't be bothered to read. The other is the pig i.e. the police, who were much in evidence today. The walk to work at 6.45am was particularly amusing. Hundreds of men were sidling past wearing work-shirt, jeans, brogues and Crombie coats. There was the occasional American in chinos. None looked remotely "casual". All this because of the G20 protests taking place later in the day. These are already well-documented (the magic of live blogs and twitter) so I'm not going to say much about them myself. One pic though, looking down Cheapside towards the Bank of England and Royal Exchange on my run today. Count the police vehicles. I think there are at least 20...

I'm actually no stranger to riots in London. My first experience was the 1990 poll tax riots, when I was 14 - an early age to begin a career of civil disobedience you'd think. You'd be right, and how. I was returning from possibly the geekiest event of my life: the final of some kind of school science quiz, run by what is now the British Science Association. We came second in the country. I was on the tube, on my way back from the competition, which was held at one of the Kensington museums. I guess I must have been changing lines at Leicester Square, only to be confronted with the aftermath of the protests, which took place in Trafalgar Square (i.e. running, looting, hairy youths). I had no idea what was going on and was, I suspect, in my school uniform. Rad.

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