Probably hasn't made the international news, but England - and in particular, north London - has been suffering from a Sahara souper. That is, a smog made up of exhaust fumes, European emissions (let's blame the continent!) and dust blown in from the Sahara. Yes, the Sahara. As in sand, north Africa, yadda, yadda. On a pollution scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is as bad as it can be, north London has been registering 10 for the past three days. Not good! And, also, when you lick your lips, there's a dry, dusty coating. All the cars have a light dusting on them, as do other surfaces. Is a strange thing and ought to be really alarming, but somehow is just another sort of interesting phenomenon. And, in a funny way, doesn't even seem that peculiar. After all, London is often sort of grey and gloomy.
Meanwhile, and after much delay, Friday has finally arrived, after what has felt like an extremely long week enlivened, thankfully,
by a fairly cheap (by London standards) and cheerful meal at O's Thai Café (www.osbarsandcafes.com) in Crouch End. My two friends and I had our usual order: satay mushrooms on sticks, vegetable spring rolls and vegetable tempura to start; followed by us all ordering the same main – pad thai with beancurd – and the same dessert: the coconut sponge cake that's both sweet and savory. We are what's left of a group of about a dozen women who all met through the NCT (that's National Childbirth Trust) when our (now grown-up) children were babies.
And now to relax - hurrah! It's the weekend.