Five days in London last week.
Touched down at Heathrow at about 11am on a dismal, drizzly bastard of a morning. Slept most of the flight away with Nina Persson warbling in my ears. Proper order, too. I hadn’t slept well the night before, hit the bed at one in the morning and had to be up at six. Tossed and turned most of the night through uneasy dreams (though nothing will ever come close in factors of uneasiness and terror to the dream I had on board a plane flying from New York to Dublin last year. I dreamt I was sleeping on a plane making that same crossing, but in my dream I awoke with a start to find the plane plummeting through a squall, free fall, the fuselage shuddering as it spiralled towards the ocean and, just before it hit the awful hungry surface of the water, I awoke with a start, but for real this time, to find myself on a plane halfway across the Atlantic. I will never forget that moment of utter dread, walloping like an anvil into the churning pit of my stomach, to wake in the dark from that too-real dream of plunging into the ocean and finding myself with four hours of a transatlantic flight still to sit through).
Sorry, got side-tracked there. Yeah, London. Been writing a thing with someone over there. What fun. (In’t that fun!) Met all the cool people. Drank all the cool beer. Ate all the warm grub. Doffed my hat to Selene’s horse, which I do every time I’m there – doffed it on three different days if I’m being honest, because it’s free and goose-flesh inducing.
Met a nice dog called Cujo. Saw Freud’s desk ornaments. Absorbed more coffee than any human should. Made tentative plans to be interviewed at LSCC in March. Was appalled by the price of a single biscuit. Didn’t get lost on the tube. Lied to a man in a souvenir shop in order to take a photo of a signed picture of Richard Burton.
Daytrip to Southend with Ellen Rogers. Nice walk on the pier. Encountered an odd man in a café who repeatedly told a book of coupons that “You’re out of date, son!” He also told a young woman to sew up the fashionable rips in her jeans and then claimed he could hear a helicopter, after which he lifted the teabag from his mug, spun it around on its string, helicopter style, and covered himself and Ellen in tea. He later claimed that his name was Sir David Francis Noble.
Trudged the streets in my freshly broken-in Doctor Marten’s. NPG to see the Engers-Kennedy portrait of Crowley. And nicely surprised to find plenty of Sickert in there too. Scoffed word-class falafel with two wonders. Bargains in the bookshops on Charing Cross Road. £8.50 for Monty’s Suffolk and Norfolk. Three quid for a nice Faber Endgame. Hung out at Orbital Comics for really not long enough. Forgot to pick up the back-issues of The Goon I saw going for a song there.
I can’t wait to go back in March.