London is darn cold today. Of course, the fact that I only arrived back from a fortnight in Florida a couple of days ago might explain why I’m feeling it so acutely. (That’s right – I’ve been away for over a fortnight. That’s why there’s been a paucity of posts of late. Things should return to normal from tomorrow.)

The raw temperature isn’t the only thing about the city that’s cold, though. Two weeks away have made me forget how rude Londoners are. I bought some food in the M&S in Cannon Street station this evening and the assistant gave me the scripted “How are you today?” I made the mistake of actually answering that, and then asking how she was. It’s understandable, I think. In Fort Lauderdale, they actually listen to your answers and reply to your questions. Here, they look at you as if you are mad, and then get on with doing their job in an automaton-like fashion.

Maybe I’ve just been spoiled by the famous Southern hospitality. Maybe the cold was getting to everyone. Or maybe Britain’s reputation for politeness is long gone, replaced by a surly jobsworth attitude that slowly sours every day in this city.