“Daily blogging, he said. Grumble grumble…”
Mea culpa, readers. And the excuse is a thin one: namely that I spent the earlier part of the week bed-ridden with man-flu. Well OK, just two days – but my affliction has cast a long shadow over this dreary week.
Amongst other disappointments, I had to duck out of the LeftLion pub quiz on Wednesday night (hosted by no less a figure than Nottingham’s ‘Mr Sex’, no less), where the ever-shifting team known as The Shadowy Cabal romped to victory for the second time in three showings. This quiz is fast becoming a regular social fixture, not least for the “Which pop classic is Mr Sex’s Nana from the Meadows playing on her Bontempi organ?” round. (We did well in Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” week, and less well in Brian May’s “Too Much Love Will Kill You” week.) But mostly because we keep winning it. Eight! Beer! Tokens!
The man-flu probably has its roots in last Friday’s marathon drinkathon in London’s trendy Clerkenwell, where friends and colleagues of Anna and Bobbie gathered to wish them bon voyage and bonne chance as they prepared to start their new life in America’s trendy San Francisco. Photos are here, here, here, here and here. (Yes, there were glowsticks. It was that kind of night.)
Suitably battered by the rigours of the occasion, I spent Saturday afternoon wandering around Stoke Newington with my sister, who has bought a flat there. (Strictly speaking it’s in Clapton, but let’s not quibble over a couple of blocks.) It’s not a part of London that I’m familiar with (barring a messy post-Trade All Back To Mine in 1995, which doesn’t really count), and I found myself quite charmed by its relative villagey-ness, overall vibrancy and good cheer. Yes, it’s getting a bit gentrified in places (a Farmer’s Market here, a Fresh And Wild there), but not in a snotty, obnoxious way. And my sister’s ex-council flat, while compact, is perfectly charming: a pleasantly characterful example of 1950s social housing from a period when public sector architecture still retained a certain idealistic sense of purpose, marrying simple functionalism and good design.
Regrettably, my battered state (coupled with the blazing sunshine) engendered such a false sense of security that I allowed my jacket to dangle a little too far over my arm, resulting in a lost wallet, a trip to the police station and a call to the bank. Hell, who needs plastic anyway? It has all been quite liberating.