Sunday, 2 November 2014


I dropped Nathan off at a roundabout on the M4 this morning. He was off to do a gig, not just in Wales, but somewhere 2 hours west of Swansea. I didn't know that Wales extended that far west! He was heading for the middle of nowhere, that's for sure, a tiny coastal town now doubt, with just the sea as its companion. A few hours after he'd entered Wales, he sent a text asking me to email him a document, which I duly did, and he duly received. I remembered a trip to Hay on Wye in 2000 with Sam, when our mobile phone reception basically disappeared somewhere in Warwickshire and never returned until we hit the same spot on our homeward journey. How astonishing and unstoppable technology is...

There had been a car fire on the Westbound M4 carriageway which was causing a traffic jam, which I didn't fancy being part of on my way home, so I decided to take the A4 back to London. It took rather longer than I'd hoped, although it did introduce me to a whole suburban landscape around Heathrow airport which I didn't know existed. I found the experience of seeing aeroplanes taking off at such close proximity rather disconcerting. They literally seemed to be taking off above my head. I also got to experience the half-world where the A4 runs underneath the M4 for some miles. The motorway sits on decayed concrete stilts above the road, and in its shadow are all sorts of curious shops, houses and, rather surreally, a car which had smashed into a wall and simply been left.

I've been experiencing rather tender gums over the last couple of days. I'd put it down to the weather, or just one of these things, so was therefore perplexed to discover that a wisdom tooth seems to be coming through on the top left side of my mouth! I would have thought the age of 40 was a little late for these sorts of shenanigans, and I'm particularly confused, because, when I was 21, I thought I'd had all my wisdom teeth removed! I do remember them saying to me that they were going to put me under and then decide if they were going to remove two or four but I assumed they'd removed four because, well, frankly, it all hurt so much back there afterwards that I couldn't imagine they'd only done half the job!

Mind you, immediately after the operation I was completely out of it. When they first woke me up, I accused the nurse of being the Angel Gabriel, and then found the concept so hysterically funny that I my mother was telephoned to pick me up much earlier than anticipated because I was disturbing other patients by laughing so much!

I sat and watched Strictly Come Dancing on my own tonight with a plate of pasta and some tinned pears, keeping one eye on the fireworks bursting up behind the trees next to the tube opposite. This evening is the date of the famous annual fireworks display at Alexandra Palace, which lies behind the trees on the horizon. They were obviously putting on quite a show because there were all sorts of explosions going off, some of which were literally shaking the house. There then followed a flurry of mini-displays, closer to home, which were making even more racket. Heaven knows what all the local cats and dogs were thinking! It's the perfect night for fireworks however. Not a cloud around and a bright half moon in the velvet-black sky.

It's now 2am, and I am waiting to pick Nathan up from the place I dropped him off some 14 hours ago. Thank God for BBC4 and it's relentless episodes of Top of the Pops! I'm surprised they can find any episodes which aren't tainted by Operation Yewtree, but I'm eternally grateful to the sounds of 1979 for keeping me awake!

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