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A Bubbly Spectacular

IT was tropically hot, and the lawns in Leicester Square looked quite inviting.

So - guileless provincial that I am - I settled down for a Guinness-induced snooze amid the students, winos, weirdos and others who occupy this area of central London.

With my back against a tree, I drifted off into Happyland, dangerously oblivious to the city's pick-pockets, footpads, throat-slitters and cadgers who have peopled English literature since Samuel Johnson's day.

My family - understandably, come to think to it - were appalled that I had put my life, and wallet, at risk so rashly, but I'm used to afternoon snoozes on the waterfront of my beloved Falmouth, so thought nothing of kipping down with London's fringe society, the ones who missed out on a Park Lane apartment and spend their nights on a slatted bench.

It was while awakening from my doze that I saw what first I thought was a dream image, one of those iridescent sequences that sometimes accompany sleep, an impression of bursting bubbles among the sun-splashed trees, with delirious children leaping in the air to catch them.

After a second or two, I came to realise that the image was, in fact, true - an impenetrable cloud of bubbles drifting across the square, their rainbow colours highlighted to full effect by shafts of sunlight cascading through the trees.

Children were, indeed, chasing them, clapping their hands in paroxysms of joy, leaping high to hold them, only to see their watery forms explode and vanish before their eyes.

It was then I realised that the bubbles were being created by a young woman street performer, who makes her living by transforming soap suds into the latest Leicester Square spectacular, a 21st century version of Gone With The Wind, as indeed they were.

Hence, I drew The Bubblemaker, Leicester Square. It's bubbly, if nothing else.

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