It’s hot in the city. Everybody is outside on the streets. Protests bang against hen nights bang against organised walks bang against mates on the razz and all of them shit litter all over the place with no thought whatsover. Cans and coffee cups and wrappers and bottles, mostly, lining the roadsides and pavements. An avenue of detritus for *somebody else* to clean, and in the middle of it the spasmodic revelry of the monosyllabic drunks.

Walking through Trafalgar Square in the early evening, all the faces were flushed and the volume control was wonky. Piles of cups and bits of food packaging lined the crowded pavements. Freckles were fully frecked. Necks were pinkly fecked. Drunks were hotly decked. A lot of people are going to wake up tomorrow morning lobstered and headachey. It’s milder tomorrow. They’ll all stay in bed.


I noticed three people being tended to as they sat wide on the pavement, drunk and heatstruck. You can tell I’m sober at the moment, or I’d have probably found the crowd vibe and ended up talking to someone from Ipswich about spiders. I walked through it up here on my platform. It’s nice up here. Much less cluttered. I might stay a while.

 I cut left, and strolled over the footbridge and through the tunnel to Waterloo. Time is running out to see my friends before I embark on a month of too much stuff. I wanted to go see Helen and chant with her. I’m covering all bases to make sure I don’t get smushed by a truck on my commute. I’m getting in as much bike instruction as I have time for and can afford. I’m staying sober and adjusting my sleep routine. And I’m trying to make sure that the spiritual side of things is covered as well. Better safe than splat. It’s a house of cards though, the big bike. If I fail my theory test I can’t take mod 1. If I fail my mod 1 I can’t take mod 2. If that happens I have to commute on a small bike which is scary as all hell on the motorway. Even if I get my mod 2 I still need to get paid by the Germans before I can buy my big bike. Even if I get paid by the Germans I need to find a big bike I’m safe on that I can afford. And then I’ve got to not fall over on it. If the Gods are kind I’ll be commuting by bike to Oxford for two weeks. If they are cautious I’ll be doing it by train and at the mercy of leaves on the line, bomb alerts, strikes and the predictable apathy of overpriced rail networks. Fingers crossed. I’m rolling the dice.

But tonight I’m turning in early. First train to Margate tomorrow. I’m combining seeing a friend with making some bike time. He’s just got his instructor licence back, but he’s also got a brand new baby, hence the early train.

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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