Thirty Thousand Streets

Monday, February 26, 2007


I'm working in Bayswater. Not been here before.

I'm in a medium sized design group who seem to specialise in quite sobre corporate communications. I'm in a little room connected to the basement studio. It has padded walls.. not sure what to make of that.

Working on yet another weary sounding G4, the sound of whose hard drive spinning is a bit like washing machine dancing toward a cliff edge.

Didn't sleep much Sunday night and ended up reading Notes On A Scandal in pretty much one sitting. Quite enjoyable, really, though I felt a bit like a wrung out dishtowel on Monday.

The weekend:
On Friday night I went up East to see Sam and Kay. We went for a curry near Broadway Market that was perfectly decent. I always suspect that unless curries were outrageously bad I wouldn't be much aware of it mind – it strikes me that Hot food could probably mask a multitude of lesser evils. But it was nice, and they gave us a free drink and an After 8 mint each.

After that we went to a party in their old block of flats, held by Kays friend Lucy. Nice place.. she'd papered the toilet walls with (I think) Tim Burton Illustrations. Nice sink in the bathroom too.

We left about midnight and parted ways. Bit of a mission getting home, but home I wanted to go. I Caught a bus to London Bridge having narrowly missed the social experiment that is the 35 at that time of night, whereupon the heavens opened. Luckily I had a crappy umbrella bought from a tourist shop near Bond Street, which deflected some of the downpour, before starting to unravel under the rain's onslaught.

I'm thinking about buying a place – or at least borrowing an obscene amount of money to buy a place. I want a nice sink, and to have all my pictures where I want them on the walls. Living with less people might be a plus too, though I doubt I'll be able to become a complete hermit just yet.

Accordingly I went and looked at a flat just off Dog Kennel Hill on Saturday. Nice-ish area (between Camberwell and Dull-wich) opposite a Sainsburys. It was in a block of flats, which from a distance looked ok, but up close wasn't so pretty. The flat was a decent-ish price for its size, but this was reflected in its state of repair as it needed quite a lot doing to it. It was also quite hard to see beyond the family of ten or so people currently living there (I'm afraid my precious sensibilities where slightly taken aback by that). I remember as a kid being much more aware of the smell of other peoples houses, and its seeming strangeness.. these days most places just seem to have a neutral aroma, or maybe I'm just desensitised to new environments. This place however had quite a pungent smell, a heady fug of people and kids, with a rich undertow of nappies. All of which is not to paint it as some Road-To=Wigan-Pier-esque portrait of squallor, but it was pretty hard to pierce the veil of humanity to scry what the flat beneath might one day look.

This entire lark seems slightly daunting actually, and having got a few friends who've been through the mill and back on this jape, I don't anticipate it getting any easier. My old mate Ade has just had pretty much the definitive nightmare experience in trying to buy a place, where the current owner defaulted on her mortgage repayments and the bank has retaken posession.. none of which would have ocurred had she actually removed her head from her anus and completed her end of the transaction four or so months ago.

She's been utterly opaque and duplicitous in her dealings, remote and impossible to contact in France somewhere. From the sounds of it, she's either bankrupt, dodgy, very stupid, or all three, but in any event her refusal to take responsibility for her actions is so utterly selfish it defies belief. Ade, I'm feeling for you mate.

But I digress.

Saturday night I went to my friend Lucy's party in Balham, after a few crafty beers in The Hermits, and Sunday didn't do a hell of a lot other than not sleep. Last night I watched The 7 Samurai round at Ed's place, though I kept drifting off. My favourite character is Kikuchiyo, the bearded wildcard with the huge sword. If the seven Samurai were the Wu Tang Clan he'd be ODB no question.

Anyway. Back to work, which just at the minute is setting up ad templates for, wait for it... An estate agents! Good god.


sigh9 said...

I read "notes on a scandal" last week too... It's great. a bit like a Roald Dahl short story for mid-aged wimmin. only in a good way.

The Eyechild said...

Yeah.. the person who owned it did sort of turn their nose up at it in a sniffy kind of way, saying:

"..bit of a girl's book"

And she's a girl!

S'good though. The kind of thinkg I could imagine buying in an airport.

Zeno Cosini said...

I couldn't really be arsed with Notes on a Scandal. I quite liked that Edward Bunker novel you lent me though. Gratifyingly bleak final page.

I remember being fascinated by the smell of other people's houses when I was a kid. Your old house in Heaton Moor always smelt of coffee and English Bull Terrier.

gridrunner said...

I remember the smell of the house opposite when I was four. I used to go round and play with a slightly older kid called Mark (who showed me the film Alien - it scared the hell out of me!)

The smell was quite distinct. The family were called the Lothams and - at the time - I named it The Lotham Smell.

Oh and – regarding the flat - thanks, man. I'm OK. I'm not really superstitious, but they say things happen for a reason. Maybe I'll now find a much better, bigger place (that isn't jinxed) in an even better location. For a tenner.

I deserve some f'ing good luck anyway.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

I'm not looking forward to the day when I finally buy my own place (in London).

The Eyechild said...


"The Lotham Smell"

That's some HP Lovecraft business right there..


It's all pretty daunting.. though as I find just moving flat stressfull enough the idea of settling somewhere of my own for a longer term is very appealing..