With the Notting Hill Carnival and the football season starting, summer is officially over. Long live the Cricket!
Let's face it: my metrosexual friend Paolo did the right thing. He met a girl (Verusca), moved in with her, got her pregnant and now he is enjoying his fatherhood with his twins. But he made the best choice of his life when named his son just like me. Olaf. He knew this would mean a lifetime ticket to London (or wherever I'm going to live in the next 60 years), guest at my house. Clever bastard.
No matter how hard I try it seems I can't avoid spending the last bank holiday in August safely away from the Notting Hill Carnival. Last year was an exception, because I was filming my western. But so far I couldn't avoid skipping it.
This time the story wasn't much different: with Paolo and Verusca coming to visit me, I knew I had to lift my ass from the chair and travel around London, showing off my great tour guide skills and spending the Monday in the Carnival.
We spent the first two days visiting London, thank to a surprisingly great weather (the sun was high and shiny in the sky, and everything really looked like a south European summer). So we could visit many places and restaurant that I would usually avoid. The river bank in Southwark, when the day is hot and the sky is clear, is just great. And with Walls finally releasing the best Magnum ice cream ever (Vision, white chocolate and strawberry ice cream - I always hated that black coating!) everything was just perfect.
I tried to convince them to spend the evening in a pub (usually it's a great idea to relax after walking 20 miles), but with both of them living an almost alcohol-free life, I couldn't even stop for more than 30 minutes to watch the excitement produced by this year Ashes. Yes, I'm the only Italian/polish who likes cricket. I just love it. And seeing the destruction of the aussies, well, it's a great experience.
The Notting Hill Carnival, 2005 edition, was an unmissable event for many tourists. Probably for all the tourists. We reached Notting Hill in the early morning, when nobody was there, so we could walk and eat some fresh corn on the cob and jerk chicken before the stampede of occasional visitors would make it impossible to order any food in a decent time.
Now, don't take me wrong, it's not like I hate the Notting Hill Carnival. But after seeing it year after year I realize it's just the same old stuff. Every edition has just more sponsored floats (radios or travel websites usually) than the year before, and the masked freaks dancing around the streets are always more than the semi naked girls that I would like to see.
Maybe this is my problem: too much of guys/gays/oldies and too little of nice and sexy semi naked dancing girls in outrageous bikinis.
As usual the experience was improved by having visitors with me so I could spend some time explaining some fake history and made-up tradition to my friends. They enjoyed it, even if I don't think they believed me all the way (well, Paolo knows me too well to believe me when I'm saying how I saved the life of many crying girls and how they named a street after me).
The Carnival for me was over soon, after the 2 hours wait and 1 hour photo session. With people continuously arriving to join the street parties, we decided to get back and enjoy some relax in the semi deserted London.
And this was it probably: sitting there with Paolo and talking about the past, and about all the projects and dreams we had and how I'm stubbornly still working on them. This was the end of my 2005 summer. With the football season starting next week, time for rest (I haven't had much though) is official over.