I was rather late for my osteopath this morning, and arrived drenched in sweat, having run from the tube station in a weirdly warm mizzle. There was a "person under a train" at Archway, and the tubes were entirely up the wazoo.
Londoners are so hard core when it comes to these sorts of tubic tragedies. The station announcements always sound so brutally frank when they say the words "person under a train" and of course people tend to simply groan when they hear the words. A suicide is an inconvenience if you're trying to get to work. End of story. No one spares a thought for the relatives of those who have been smeared all over the track, or indeed for the LU driver who witnessed the event, or anyone on the platform at the time when whoever jumped jumped.
Tannoy-announced excuses don't stop with "person under a train" however. On my way back from the osteopath we were informed that there were great delays on the Hammersmith and City Line due to a "trespasser on the line at Shepherd's Bush." There's an unusual concept. I wonder where he was trespassing...
I met a man on Saturday who was schooled right next to Suicide Bridge. When ever anyone jumped, they'd simply close all the blinds on one side of the building!
I met Jo Emery for tea today, an old friend from my student theatre days fifteen thousand years ago. She was in London for a casting in Soho, so we did lunch at Stock Pot, which is a cheap canteen on Old Compton Street where you get thrown out the moment you stop eating. This particular behaviour triggered Jo to recall a time from her childhood when her mother had so little money that, as a treat, they went to London for the day, and, for even more of a treat had lunch at Pizza Hut, but could only afford to share a glass of coke and a portion of garlic bread!
We spent a good ten minutes then swapping all of our other "so sad it's funny" anecdotes, including the fact that no one went to Nathan's 13th birthday party, and the story of my friend Helen's Mum, who'd spent an entire term at school knitting a tartan scarf, which she proudly cast off and took down to the local park to show off... She took the scarf off to go on the swings and when she returned, someone had taken a pair of scissors and cut down its entire length.
I came home and worked more on the Fleet Singers composition. My task this week is to write two minutes of music every single day.
Those of you reading this who are fans of Brass might be interested in soundcloud.com/benjamintill/one-man-letters.
This is a recording of Ben Jones, the lad who played the lead role of Alf, who spent the last goodness knows how long single-handedly recording every single part of the most complicated song in the show. Women's parts. Tops sops. All the internal dialogue. It's an extraordinary achievement. Do have a listen...