Welcome to London I said to her as we got off the train and stepped into Kings Cross Station. She needed to use the bathroom. There was a que of 30 people waiting.
‘Welcome to London’ I said to her as I stepped away to look up at the arched glass ceilings. A man was tinkering a lullaby on a piano.
Thousands of people poured past. Going to other trains and underground tunnels.
We went underground too.
It was no a great day to be in London. Windy. Stormy. Bitterly cold. Our summer bodies were in shock being exposed to such miserable conditions.
We hid in a great art museum called the Tate and stayed until the worst had passed. Drinking hot drinks in the cafe and watching peoples umbrellas turn inside-out as they turned towards the Thames.
We saw some nice art too.
The rest of the day was spent strolling and tubing around the tourist loop.
St Peters, Westminster, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus…
When we got to Camden it was time for a beer at The Worlds End, and a few other places. The most horrible bottled beer ever drunk was at a little gay bar next to the tube stop.
Then it was back to Luton…
A washout. Overexposed wasteland blues.
Where days drop like flies and the months march by.
I got rolls of film in my pocket and i’ll expose the lot.
And dip into my savings for the scans.
Summers here, Spring is but a turn in the winds. And bindies in my heel.
This time of year is crap. All heat and sea-spray. Though the light starts to linger a bit longer.
So you gotta carpe diem and all that comes with it.
Something in me feels that day siezin’ ain’t what it was once for me. A trip to the beach and a beer in the shade mightn’t be what some might think of as grabbing life by the throat.
A town covered in grey. Granite paved streets without a soul on them. We walked in the cold rain to find a drink and a feed.
Most kitchens weren’t open till 6pm and it had only just struck four. So we went for a crawl about town. Our old motel had the cheapest piss and a fireplace. Good music and a large smoking area. No food though. So we made a move to a place up the road. The one not recommended by the bar staff.
When you’re fairly cut and step into a bikie den, most times its a good idea to have your drink and move along. But we had our meals, a few more beers and shared a few lingering stares with rough heads in leather vests.
We went back to the Hotel Motel and I drank 4 buck schooners of Coopers until I was out of coins. A piss-head approached me at the urinal.
“You with the Girraween Times mate?”
He was getting close. I would be pissing on his leg soon.
“Seen you been taking photos around town with a fancy camera. What for?”
‘Just like taking photos, out here hiking mate. Camera ain’t fancy, just old’ I shrugged
And he left me to finish up at that, with a nod and a stumble backwards out the door.
Got up the next morning for a hike and it was very pretty. The skies cleared. The roos came out and the sun shone on massive mounds of granite sticking out of the bush.
It stunk out. A stiff northerly kicked up a dust devil as I stepped out of the car and walked to the drive thru bottle-o. Grit’s whipped into my eyes. They weep as I’m peeling the shirt off my back, I step into the cool room and quickly find the cheapest slab pale ale.
“Cheer up mate, cant be that bad” the bald mad with stubby digits says to the chuckle of a small crowd of local boozers queuing up at the counter.
Back in the lot. Looks like a wreckers backyard. Cars parked haphazardly wherever they’ll fit across the potholed mosaic of asphalt and broken glass. Its always been like this since I’ve known it.
But it wont be forever. No.
A passing glance reveals a wee tsunami of gentrification washing through the streets of old Palmy. Shiny white Cafes, Hip restaurants, boutique shops and trendy barbers. A dozen or so popping up in the last year. The pissheads with the blistered coupons wont be chuckling when they cant afford the rent anymore.
The slabs in the boot. I spark up and sink back into the cab.
Suns getting low.
Lighting up the faded pastels of the highway motels real nicely.
Lights go red.
Lights go green.
Lights go red.
Traffic backs up and we all crawl along in this beautiful stinking postcard afternoon together.
There’s chocolate on my keyboard. Been spending more time watching movies and television on it than anything else. Been getting some bad habits from this sedentary life.
Last week I slammed my head on a quarter-pipe and probably needed a stitch or two but my medicare had expired. So I got a few longnecks and some KFC. Cleaned the cut with those moist towelettes on the drive home.
Thats my exciting story of the past week. That, and I ate 5 whoppers in 5 days.