The magnolias are in bloom across London – those fragile and gorgeous blossoms that come for such a short while but brighten up the city in Spring. The cherry trees are shooting out as well, with pink fairies in the air. There are daffodils everywhere there’s grass. It’s a glorious time of year, signalling hope for the summer to come. Speing. A typo. For a time if being a bit like Spring. Speing has spig.

I’ve been pounding the streets with Lou. We went to Notting Hill Farmers Market and ended up with a punnet of mushrooms, some speing flowers and … well … and two packs of smoked sturgeon.

It’s just a bunch of stalls in a car park, mostly selling meat to us but with pockets of variance and two young lads selling caviar and smoked fish, which of course drew my attention. Last time I was at the market in Notting Hill I was the one selling the smoked fish. Tom Hollander bought two Arbroath smokies. So it’s nice to turn the tables and be the actor buying the fish. “It’s bred in the UK” “I’ll have two!”

I’ve never been to Kensal Green Cemetery before despite Harriet living right by the place over a decade ago. We kept on meaning to go for a walk there back then but somehow always went somewhere else instead. Today was as good a time as any to hit an attractive place of death. It’s still very much the parental deathiversary season, so the transient nature of mortal pride sits squawking at the front of my mind. It’s a quiet and beautiful space, and there are still people going in there amongst the ancient tombs. Some parts are crumbled in, others are shining. We come across a huge open plan tented memorial to a young boy killed in a riding accident. There’s a statue of him with a football, adorned with a clean yellow arsenal scarf. Some of these memorials are all about letting go. Others seem to be all about holding on. Further down we find balloons from recent cremations, and at one point we pass a car with tinted windows blaring out shonky house music. Hard to tell if it’s mourners distracting themselves from grief or local gangster wannabes hotboxing with the dead on a Saturday morning.

Down the canal to Meanwhile Gardens and the Trellick Tower.

Mel and I built an installation there ten years ago on a summer night, filling it with sound and light, fire jugglers and a treasure hunt led by strange recorded voices. “Take a calabash and draw me some water”. Projections on the tower, little snippets of story and memory about the area and its history. I haven’t been there since. We sat by the lake where we had a guy stinking of petrol as he twisted his burning poi. There are benches on the little wooden bridge. It used to be rustic and quite lovely. Now all the gaps in the wood have all been strung across with wire or plugged with plastic barriers and traffic cones and hi-vis tape. Some idiot has said it’s wasn’t safe, so they’ve fucked it up in order to prevent notional people notionally drowning. Safety again. Screw you, safety, and your mission to steal the colour from the world.

British summertime starts tomorrow. And a full moon in Libra. My sign. Speing. Being it on.

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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