Nathan's Dad and Step Mum came to Highgate tonight. Nathan was still at work at the Shaftesbury theatre when they arrived, so I took them on a grand tour of the Heath. More specifically, I drove around the edge of the Heath, as the sun was setting, pointing out quirky little buildings whilst telling anecdotes. I showed them Boy George's house, told them the story of the Vale of Health and its miraculous escape from the Cholera epidemic, and regaled them with tales of Dick Turpin at Spaniards Inn. I should probably do tour guiding like my mate Josh does in Manchester.
As we turned the corner into Gordon House Road, Liz said to me, "you really love London don't you?" And I realised quite how much I do. Not London in general, I don't think, but the area around the Heath. I drove them up Swain's Lane, past the cemetery and Waterlow Park and I thought how amazingly lucky we are in my neck of the woods to have so many areas of wood and parkland. I read somewhere that London is technically classed as a forest because of the number of trees it has per square mile, or meter, or something. It doesn't actually surprise me, because most streets are lined with trees, and there are so many open spaces.
We had our tea at Cafe Rouge in the village, where I had two giant bursts of echolalia when confronted by the rather silly voices of two of the staff there. My echolalia presents itself in a spontaneous and brutally embarrassing impersonation of anyone I speak to whose voice surprises me in any way. It tends to happen with Eastern European waitresses and, I'm somewhat ashamed to admit, certain Asian shop keepers. For some reason it's been plaguing me a little more than usual of late!