Saturday, 5 May 2012

Camden rock


I've had such a lovely day. The joy for me about working at the weekend is that it feels somewhat unpressurised; like anything I achieve is a bonus. I had a lovely lie-in, then worked in the cafe for a couple of hours, before taking myself to my favourite greasy spoon for lunch. I had my usual; two poached eggs on toast with fried mushrooms and hash browns. A proper treat, and only £5.20 including a coke!

I went to Camden in the afternoon. It’s a horrible, expensive, uber-cool sort of place, packed to the rafters with a weird blend of media types, Chinese tourists, Goths, and Italian teenagers, who all become horribly edgy after dark. Every time I drive down Camden High Street at least one pissed or stoned turd staggers out into the road and causes me to slam on the breaks.  They’ve dug up half the pavements, creating a whole load of bottle necks, and people kept bumping into me with suitcases. There was some kind of rock gig taking place under the arches near the canal, and I felt desperately sorry for the local residents, until I realised that by choosing to live in Camden they really only have themselves to blame.

I met my friend Marinella in Tupelo Honey and we sat in a very pleasant window seat eating a pastry which cost more than my entire lunch. It was wonderful to see Marinella. We talked about her forthcoming wedding, which is going to be hugely eccentric, and spent a great deal of time people watching. The girl with hair like the middle of a felt tip pen, the pregnant woman with a matching husband, the man dressed from head to toe in leather with a tubercular face... They were all out on the streets today.

We walked back through Kentish Town, remembering the days when houses there were relatively affordable. There’s a street called Kelly Street where the little cottages are painted every colour of the rainbow. It always used to be the street I aspired to live in when I finally made some money. Sadly this particular dream has not yet been realised, but it was nice to remind myself of a goal I set at the age of 23.

350 years ago, Pepys, who’d had a shed load of blood let from his arm the day before, was not feeling well, so stayed in his room all day, whilst his wife went shopping to find him a gown of some description.

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