Sunday, 28 March 2010


Outside the Salisbury Pub a man and a woman have an argument. He seems drunk, and through the window of the bus I read his lips telling her to fuck off. She doesn't.

A man blows one nostril onto the pavement. An electrical shop selling TVs has a display of the fashion channel showing a swimwear catwalk show.

Two kids on the bus play rock paper scissors. They have introduced a new choice into the game - laser (think this word in the voice of Dr Evil). Guess which component beats all others.

Woman in a mobility scooter crosses the street in such a way that a car screeches to a halt, she drives up a pavement lip, does a 180 degree turn and shoots off in the other direction. She drives with her legs crossed.

Thursday, 25 March 2010


Train station embrace, actually more than a snog, with full body to body contact, arms wrapped round for all enveloping stroke. Under the departure boards at Liverpool Street Station. A stationful of rush hour commuters watching for their trains. They pull apart for breath, smiling. They hug. Then both women turn towards the underground.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Early Morning

Its only me and the birds awake. Drizzle falls. They flit around breakfasting noisily. Much calling and song. A collared dove on a highly bending elder branch. Buds developing on the lilac (a self planted specimen from the neighbour's one). I can't sleep anymore. Exhausted last night I sat in bed reading the end of my book for three hours until I couldn't hold off sleep any longer at 11.00pm. We are having what seems like a relentlessly pressurised year at work - going from one intense period to the next. Last year it was Ofsted (twice - once snowed off in February, then the rescheduled in May), the new year has brought auditors (one set threatened in February only to be called off the weekend before they were coming, and now a second lot are here). I had a week off two weeks ago - thinking alot about job satisfaction. If I had the money, didn't need to worry about a salary, what would I do? What line of work might make me feel less like a creative trapped in a monitoring world? I can find no satisfactory answers (something I might like to do which will bring me a salary on which I can live). Despite the fact that I will be 40 this year, I am still trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up. I'm thinking it might be too late already! Two quotes from Joshua Ferris, author, in one of the weekend magazines summed it up quite perfectly for me:
After I left college I thought, very naively, that either you became someone interesting - an artist - or you went into academia. If you ended up in an office you were dull and lacking. And I ended up in an office.
The inanities and absurdities of corporate life are so obvious... I found  a great deal of nobility there - you know, people doing jobs they might not like, doing it for their kids. Which is not to say that I felt those things while I was there... I felt my life was draining away.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Rainy Evening

I like walking in the rain. Cooling. Droplets like diamonds sticking to hair, wool. The pavement wet and reflecting all the lights of the city night. Sparkling. The smell fresh. Clean. Renewed.

A long drink of water straight from the botton. Chilled. Washes away the dryness and dust from the throat. A meandering bus journey delivers me home.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Spring Sunshine

The wintry sun dips in the palest blue sky. The people in the park are not yet feeling the cold. Someone lies on the ground feet in the root system of a large tree, head downhill, staring at the sky. Further along another person lies in the grass. A small group of Indians make a film. Shooting a presenter in turquoise mac against Alexandra Palace. Furthest along, just before the bus takes the sharp turn down towards the bottom of Muswell Hill a group picnic on a rug.

Very british rush to use the sun whenever it appears.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ladies [and gentlemen] Who Lunch

Cafe Rouge on James Street near Selfriges. Sitting in the sunshine (lovely March sunshine with enough warmth to not have cold hands when ungloved, to feel the benefit on the face and enjoy the brightness on the eyes) drinking cafe mocha waiting for the boyfiend.

Two businessmen take coffee - one has folded his jacket inside out and laid it over his knee and discarded his tie. Positively basking.

Two Russian girls, one eating, one nursing a cafe latte.

Three old posh ladies. Strange assortment of clothing. One in particular must be in from the county. Chain smoking. Drinking claret. Bloated, reddened from weathering. Laughing rauchously and sharing pictures of grandchildren and stories of children's successes (and divorces).

French tourists drinking coffee. Suprisingly un-chic, dressed in jeans and fleece which I always find at odds with their reputation.

The businessmen move onto beer. The other Russian takes a meal while her companian smokes. The three posh ladies study some foxton's propety sheets of a potential purchase that one of them will make. Discuss in some detail the merits of the windows. Chain-smoking lady is on her sixth cigarette. Mostly held aloft betwee thick fingers, elbow on the table. Occassionally dragging on it with a creamy orange lipsticked mouth. Flicking ash off its end into a glass ashtray.

Boyfiend arrives, and I go and pay.