London in the sunshine

This was the scene at the Victoria and Albert Museum, in Kensington, on Tuesday:

London in the sunshine. It couldn’t have been more perfect. (Well, it could if the costume galleries had been open, but they’re shut for refurbishment at the moment. They’ll reopen in spring 2012 and I’ll be at the front of the queue. The shop, meanwhile, was, as always, fab.)

London has been through a lot recently, like other British cities. But what has shone through in the last few days is what a beautiful place it is to live, and how full it is of people who love it, and care about it, and will do what it takes to make sure that goodness prevails.

Which reminds me of the tough but vulnerable girls I imagined meeting up at the V&A a few years ago, and whose story I was talking about while we sipped our coffees in the sun.

People banding together in the face of adversity, and making the world a better place.

This is a now-famous picture taken at Clapham Junction, near where I live, that afternoon. They had come from all over to take part in a massive cleanup operation.

On Tuesday, and much to our own surprise, London was a great place to be.