Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Freshly Hove

Hove train station is the only station I know which smells of perfume. Whether it's because they use a special form of disinfectant, or because the night guard wears an abnormal amount of aftershave, I'm not sure, but it certainly beats the stench of stale urine blended with cheap coffee. I stopped a cleaner and asked if he knew why the place smelt so fresh, and he seemed a bit non-plussed. Perhaps he's simply used to the smell. Fiona didn't seem to know what I was on about either, so maybe it's a smell which is unique to Southern trains. 

Today's been something of a head-f**k. There's no denying it; the London Requiem is a beast. Quite how PK is dealing with not smoking whilst pulling together the most astonishingly complicated sonic jigsaw, I've no idea. I feel very guilty. 

Today we slowly worked our way through the Kyrie, which is the second movement. The choir's vocals were spot on, but today's issues came in the shape of everything else. PK described the movement as a musical Pandora's box. He's right; it constantly changes tack and refuses to allow a listener to become complacent. 

I reckon I'm on the last train from Brighton back to London. We're stopping everywhere. Who'd've thought a place called Balcombe existed? I was hoping it might take me all the way to the Thameslink at Kentish Town, but sadly the nearest I can get to Highgate is King's Cross, no doubt after the tubes have stopped. 

As I stood trying to ascertain this fact on the platform, an old bloke walked straight into my suitcase and took a rather graceful tumble along the platform. It was a fairly horrifying sight; his glasses went flying and the poor man couldn't stand up again. He seemed more embarrassed than hurt, and because he was with a group of younger men, who were calling him Grandpa, after I'd helped to get him to his feet and dusted him off a bit, I ran for my train. It was one of those moments when I felt the need to apologise profusely, even though I'd been stationary with my suitcase in my hand for minutes before he walked into it. Being old must truly suck! 

On the way back from PK's, I stopped off in Hove to finally catch up with Fiona who arrived home from America today. The only eatery near the station, an entirely empty wine bar-cum-meatery called Foxy's, makes a virtue of not catering for vegetarians. There's even a veggie burger on the menu which, as a "joke" is made from 100% prime beef. Laugh? I nearly sued them! 

"That's the Foxy way," said the chirpy man behind the counter, with a friendly wink. I wanted to punch his lights out. To make matters worse he felt the need to continue to speak after I'd made it very clear I wouldn't be eating in his empty establishment. "We do like to cater for special requests, however," he said. "The other day we bought three extra parsnips because one fella telephoned in advance to say he really liked veg with his Sunday roasts. Three extra parsnips!" He seemed genuinely very proud. I stared at him not knowing what to say; "so if I telephoned in advance, would you cook me a veggie roast?" "Yes of course," he said, "but it wouldn't be strictly vegetarian..." He winked again. I smiled, feeling perplexed, amused and deeply nauseous in equal measures, and left the hell of Foxy's far behind me! Who would eat in a place called Foxy's anyway? Trashtastic! 

350 years ago, Pepys climbed to the top of his house to supervise the work being done on his extension. Unfortunately, the roof was still off, and it kept raining which meant the ceiling of the ground floor was getting trashed. The extension meant Pepys would gain a fancy dining room, however, which he'd decided to have wainscotted; panelled with wood as a sort of dado. His head for the rest of the day was "so filled with business" that he couldn't even concentrate on his maths lessons! 

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