Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday 13 July 2009

With hindsight not getting to sleep until 2AM this morning was not a very good thing and always likely to become my undoing.

As I put on my retro iPod Shuffle this morning it splutters and dies randomly once more. Then it is not until I get on the train that fatigue hits me.

The real stress of proceedings is currently caused by the fact that it is dad’s birthday on Wednesday and I have no idea what to get for him.

It’s a morning of listening to Nick Cave on the train – I am just in that kind of mood.

The train hurtles to town only to get beached outside Liverpool Street for what appears to be a longer pause than usual. Will these trains ever cease to be disheartening?

At Liverpool Street tube platform I find myself smiling at an unconventionally attractive lady (she looks from Israel, sporting the best of both worlds) with a Costa coffee in hand. As we board the same carriage I watch as her face begins to contort in a screwy fashion indicating disgust/distaste. I hope that wasn’t my fault and I’m not responsible for that (emotion reaction).

Leaving Kings Cross station the train suddenly fills with the sound of some kind of jazz trumpet. I begin to wonder if it is coming from my iPhone but when I look up it is a nutter blowing a flute on the ponce for change so that he can sell the Big Issue. He stops playing and begins to tell us that he is hungry. It really does sound like a flute that is wired up to a DAT. For a few moments I actually thought it was the train driver pumping in music over the PA Shawshank style suffering some kind of breakdown. Fortunately the Pied Piper gets off at Great Portland Street before he bites anybody. He is the BBC’s problem now.

As I change tube lines at Baker Street I swear I see Robert Downey Jr.

Soon however I am away from the hells of public transport and firmly lodged into the working the day. When the boss turns up it is with the knowledge that The Girl isn’t in today. This produces the usual comments which indirectly I feel reflect on me.

I begin the day by sending my summer roundup stuff to Marceline for Diskant. I have gone a bit overboard with enthusiasm, which hopefully won’t be perceived as a bad thing. Things are good right now though, times are high and the stuff/material enhancing my life is of high quality.

With The Girl not bothering to come in it turns out to be a slow day, impossible to get motivated about work when it is so evident that others aren’t giving a crap and getting away with it. The office equilibrium needs to be maintained but seldom it is.

For lunch I have king prawns and couscous again, once more noting how dry they are and how they just need a bit more flavouring in order to make it a great dish. However the chefs don’t tell me how to cook the books so I won’t tell them how to cook the food.

Much like the morning, the afternoon is slow and arduous. As I leave the roller derby girl is chatty.

With getting dad a birthday present in mind I hit Oxford Street just before 6PM. And indeed as expected it is carnage, splattered with fat American tourists getting in the way and chatting with bubblegum in their gapping, drooling mouths. OK, maybe that is an exaggeration but still I have to do the tourist hurdles in order to get to any stores before closing time. Motherfuckers.

First I hit Borders to no joy. Is this a place where people cruise? Tonight it feels like it is. Regardless it is rammed full of pretty girls. There is also a proper tranny, which is less easy on the eyes.

With nothing purchased my next stop is HMV where I see a huge shop full of items that I could purchase significantly cheaper online. Soon unfortunately it hits me and becomes apparent that I have no idea about a gift for the old man.

Still empty handed I head down Berwick Street to Sister Ray and what used to be Selectadisc. Boy is this shop quiet these days. I remember when you couldn’t get to racks for people clambering to look at the seven inches. To think me and my old Gringo Records cohort used to make a post Christmas special trip/journey up to here and Rough Trade to buy records as a minor act of pilgrimage for a few years. Better times?

I don’t buy anything but I do manage to finally begin to relax and enjoy walking through Soho on a bright summer evening. This could be the best of places at the best of times. As I pass our restaurant on Old Compton Street it doesn’t look so great.

As I pass Dean Street I see the road is closed and the builders are in place repairing the street after Friday’s fire. This is where we interviewed Bobby Conn that time. Better times?

Nostalgia begins to grip me, to kill me, to belittle me, to stifle me.

Cambridge Circus is very busy this evening, lots of people, lots of tourists. So why then does our restaurant there look horribly quiet? Monday evening I guess.

Eventually and invariably I wind up in Fopp. Inside upstairs The Slits are just finishing off a book signing and packing up. In some eyes this would be a true wow. I’ve tried listening to “Cut” in the past and much like The Raincoats sadly it never clicked with me. It is however pretty exciting to be sharing space with post-punk royalty.

Obviously I buy more stuff for myself than the old man – who can argue with Seinfeld boxsets for £5 (season five and season six) which sets off some kind of undeserved retail frenzy in/for me.

As I leave the store I set off the alarms and find myself getting a little arsy with the security guard. However he is cool and I am a prick as he does have a point that the tag will only set off the alarms in any other store I step in. My bad.

I end up in the Charing Cross Road Borders frantically looking for a book or two for the old man. In the end I buy him a couple of rubbish computer books that are patronising to anyone under the age of 40. He however will be 64 this week so part of me thinks these should suit.

In the basement a gorgeous Asian lady (probably Chinese) sits at a desk seemingly doing her homework. When did Borders become a library?

Eventually I am done by 8.30PM. On the tube I witness as a girl sits reading Vice Magazine and taking it very seriously. Tonight the Central Line feels extra fast as it appears to take only six minutes to get from Tottenham Court Road to Bank. Did we ever have it so good ever before?

Tonight I catch the weird 9PM Lowestoft train home. This ride appears to be more orange than ever this evening and extra sickening with it. On the train are a couple of people speaking German, I think they might be from Germany.

Attempting to ignore them I watch the 3rd In Treatment episode of patient April and I find myself really beginning to warm to her as the show begins to grip me again.

Once back in Colchester as I walk from the station to my car I see the weirdest sight ever of a shirtless man on crutches stopping for his friend to pull down his trousers so that he can have a piss up the wall of Wickes. For a moment I thought the dude was about to give him a blowjob. Speedily I walk off, not waiting around to see the conclusion of this action.

While this is all occurring I am listening to “Down On The Street” from Fun House. There couldn’t possibly be a better soundtrack for the image as I snag one of those rare moments that my iPod perfectly syncs with life.

Other than that ugliness walking to the car tonight it is the most beautiful evening as time quickly heads towards 10PM.

When I get home it is to six CDs have been delivered in the post – two bad self releases and four rubbish CDs that I have ordered from Play.com for £1.99 in an extended moment of work boredom.

I fall asleep watching Ali G Indahouse and suddenly I recall how spookily he stole my middle name and surname combination – did you know that his full name is Alistair Leslie Graham? And this is my dad’s middle/surname combination also. I literally feel cloned. With this in mind I soon fall asleep.

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