All you fellas better change your ways, yeah, leaving this town in a matter of days – 8th August 1994

After feeling a bit rough in the stomach department and then stuffing a huge pizza on Thursday, there was nothing for it ‘cept to take Friday off! So I spent a lazy day ambling about in Poole, Just a walk away across the park from where we live now. The park is full of mad ducks and geese and swans all crowing about looking for food off the tourists. And when Broni returned from her work (she’s now winding down too, thankfully!) we set off on the buses for Bournemouth back to good Chinese food and then a dash down to the beach at 10pm, through all the crowds, to catch a firework display. We got to the beach as the last rocket exploded! Luckily we’d been able to see all the aerial light show high in the sky. We were pretty drunk by this time and I guess we got home on the bus somehow!

Saturday was spent lazily too and in the evening we went up to Consumers Paradise to see ‘The Flintstones’. I enjoyed it greatly thanks to a few puffs of magic smoke. We attempted a walk in the park on our return but we got too paranoid with all the dimly lit paths and alleys and ominous shadows of trees. We had to crash out early to get up at half five to catch the early bird bus up to London. And so we trekked back across the park in the early dawn, both still sleepy-eyed.

On the bus, we spread out, my back with an aching hurt making me sit bolt upright and I read William Burroughs and Broni read Roddy Doyle. In the blink of an eye we’re off the bus to a quiet sunny Sunday in central London. First stop for refreshments at the Fountain Cafe, and then into the tube across town to Islington to Piers at Mildmay Grove (now made famous (of sorts) in a poem, to Piers’ amusement).

Soon after arrival, Piers’ Orstraylian friend, Andrew, turned up with enthusiasm for our ‘freeways’, “strewth, knocking on the ton most of the way, just to keep up with people!” He assured us I’d have a great time in Sydney, “Bedder then heya, thet’s fer shore!” Soon he dropped us off near Euston after a 100mph car ride through London’s busy streets. “Oi luv those corners, especially with the four-wheel droive.” and some off the cuff remark while we were talking about money he noted about a fellow car driver “that blek fella’s dun awright fer ‘imself droiving a rolla, must be a drag ranner!” No sign of irony, sarcasm, hatred or even ignorance. Beyond ignorance!

Piers took us to Chutnie for Sunday lunch. An Indian restaurant with a three pounds ninety-five, all you can eat menu. OK food, but no popadoms! Piers then took us to various parts of London, all on foot, which was good but after a while, in the wrong places, we got fed up with the people everywhere.

Piers left us to it as he had to dash off to some BBQ and soon after Broni and I lost our rag, poisoned by the city I’m sure. After making up we started to realise just how tired we were and how fed up with all the tourist traps we were. Things got worse as we searched for food nourishment around tea time. My back pain had transferred to chest pain and as we sat drinking an orange juice and water I got scared and cried at the memory of Steve saying “could be the grim reaper for me” after seeing the doctor about chest pains, just days before his death. Then, frustrated, we found an American diner in Leicester Square with the vague hope of getting well-fed but all we got was fed up with shitty garlic bread and nachos with no guacamole – what the fuck! Totally overpriced too for the tourist boom – it was here we started to hate London and it’s consumer nightmare. Buy or die. Charging over a pound for a coffee is just pure rip-off and taking advantage of people – I can’t believe people are sucked in so easily but you are constantly bombarded by it.

We tubed over to Victoria to prepare to leave and things got decidedly evil. I paid 20p for a piss and approached the urinal thinking to myself, stand at the opposite end to the drain hole so you don’t have to smell everyone else’s piss. I’d done the wrong thing as I was thinking that, of course, but made a mental note to do that next time. As all that was going on in my head I became aware of some dude stood two booths away. Looking down I saw no signs of piss flowing down the drain and realised this guy was jerking himself off as he looked over at me. I quickly finished up and fled feeling a bit flustered. Not sickened but saddened by this behaviour. I felt strange for several minutes and as I walked up the stairs at Victoria I saw the shadow of Satan’s angel cast on the ground. I turned and looked up but, nothing! A very real experience probably easily explained but in my emotional state, very believable. And suddenly the city seemed insidious, dirty, depraved and evil and as we begged to leave, our coach was delayed. Only memorable point was while we were waiting, catching a girl’s eye by chance and her smiling at me!

Bussed home eventually, me looking after Broni as her health deteriorated by the poison of the day until she puked as we walked back across the park, now shrouded in darkness, ‘cept sky lit up by wandering searchlights touching the low-level cloud with fingers of fire.

Back at work today, still sad inside with thoughts of the dead city and Broni coming home ill after half a day’s work. I went to the doctors about my wrist again, where I was palmed off with the same old rest and recuperate rubbish. I think there’s more to it and have booked to see another doctor tomorrow. This has been very painful to write I’ll remind you – sympathy, please!

I’m getting excited about leaving now and frightened too but not so much as I’d expected. It seems like I’m just moving house – difficult to explain. Hey – had a great long cool chat with Rob on Saturday night – one cool dude is our Rob. Remember, Rob is God.

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