London is great like this. I was on Hampstead Heath and everyone was smiling with their whole being, throwing balls and flying kites, or lying in a snug puddle with loved ones. The joy is contagious, just brought on by warm breeze and sun in the sky. Young and old couples holding hands, dressed in their brand new summer clothes. Every different shape and size of dog. Kids running around laughing. Grown ups running around like kids. I won a blue owl from the disinterested child running the “Hook a duck” stall on Hampstead Heath. It was everything you’d ever want from a fairground attraction. Utterly indolent staff, no entertainment or skill involved, fluffy owl, vague sense that you’ve been had…


I took my shoes and socks off and lay on my back with the owl, remembering hours of doing the same as a child in Jersey, telling stories to myself about the shapes in the clouds. When everybody’s happy it feels less of a problem that this city is so crowded. When they want to kill you because you’re between them and the door it’s a less pleasant experience. I had a thoroughly affirming people watch today in good company. Now I’m treating myself to an Uber across town, because I’ve got to be working at a breakfast event at 7.15 tomorrow morning in Southwark and that’s twelve hours from now. I need a hot bath, some food, to make sure my costume is all ready and an early bed with a million alarm clocks set.

Last night I got hauled up on stage by a burlesque drag act. There are advantages and disadvantages to going about town in this vintage suit and trilby. I’m not sure which of the two that was, but it was part of a very fun unexpected night, supporting some friends as they make a foray into burlesque For a moment I was Brad in Rocky Horror. But the evening devolved to the extent that I very badly want to go home now, to wash and sleep. I stink after a night as a dirty stopout, and my phone is about to run out of battery.

I got home to find water running down the outside of my block. My initial reaction was consternation as I was worried it was coming from my flat, but no. It’s my bonkers French neighbour. She doesn’t like how dirty the scaffolding is outside her window, so she’s washing it with a hose. I’m running a bath after clearing up what looked like it was some Pickle sick. She seems completely fine, but it was a pretty nasty thing to come home to. Hopefully she just ate a blowfly or something equally horrible. I’ll keep an eye on her. Meanwhile the bath if run, the pasta is cooked, it’s half past eight and I want to be in bed by nine so I’m cutting this short so I can pamper myself before the early show tomorrow.

Back into the fray. That was such a lovely weekend. Have a good week, kids. See you in it perhaps.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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