It’s a beautiful sunny day in Brighton. Opposite Lou’s flat there’s heat haze over the sea stretching out to the army of giants that make up the Rampion Wind Farm.
My charging plug is broken so I’m writing this in the car. Honest guv that’s the only reason I’m down here sitting in the XTrail. Not because it’s my new toy, my portable room, my workhorse.
I rarely name my vehicles. In some circles there is a loose social pressure to do so, but I don’t like to. It usually feels a bit twee. Occasionally though if a name insists itself I will adopt it. I had a bike that knew it was called Ahmed. I just rode it and the name kept surfacing in my mind. This car, for some reason, seems to want to be called “Bergmann”. I honestly don’t know why, but there it is. I’m sitting in Bergmann charging my phone and writing this. Ingrid or Ingmar? Maybe a bit of both. It’s not even a Swedish car. But it feels like it’s called Bergmann.
Bergmann and I went to the East Jetty at Brighton Marina today. With the sun hammering through all the windows I was glad of the very efficient shock of air conditioning that I have rarely encountered outside of rental vehicles in the States. Within seconds you can be too cold. I’m having to adjust it constantly as I write, just because the sun is blazing today, but if the Aircon didn’t exist I’d be cooking like a Sunday chicken as I tried to charge my phone. Brighton Marina was for a little favour. Just a happy coincidence. A friend bought a scooter in Brighton. I’m driving through London tomorrow.
Sharon was Stage Manager on a touring Twelfth Night fourteen years ago, and they lost their Malvolio one day before a big show in Eastbourne. I drove down and stepped in after a long day of remembering my lines from playing it at college, and so began a journey that took us up to Edinburgh Festival and roundabout the country on a crazy tour of Doom staying in all kinds of bonkers places and having a fine old time. I used to do that last minute thing the whole time. I like it. It can be joyful just stepping in like that. It turned into a fun job although there was a lot of hooey about money and working hours. I think of it fondly now.
Sharon and I are still in touch and she has purchased a scooter. I introduced the scooter to Bergmann, and we will all be driving up to London together tomorrow afternoon. This is Bergmann meeting the scooter.
The weather is too nice for me to continue to sit in an air conditioned car just to charge my phone. I just ran into a friend of Lou’s as well, in her summer hat. The last thing I want is to look like I just sit in cars all day with the engine running…