Vignettes – 13/08/14

Cycling in the glorious sun to work and in so doing – revelling in the longest, warmest, sunniest summer for a generation. Remarking inwardly that the daily tropical rain-showers are unusual – as are the cloud formations.

Meeting the director responsible for the upcoming restructure. Holding the floor among peers whilst putting forward the group view.  

Eating next to nothing. That’s how 5:2 works – well, at least two days of the week. Secretly thrilled to have lost 9 lbs in 5 weeks. Knowing there’s another 9 lbs to go to hit that magic number. Reading from the phone app used to measure weight that the 25th September is the day the target will be reached (on current trends).

Falling off the wagon at an off-site meeting in the West End – luxury biscuits on the table and it’s 3pm and energy levels have hit rock bottom. Unable to resist temptation.

Dinner – a bowl of soup (home-made, of course), followed by an apple.

Ordering brilliantine online. Having relied on American Crew for what seems like years – wanting to try something else. Reading customer reviews that say it’s actually not greasy. Conscious that when people to whom one’s profoundly attracted decide to run their hands through your hair – the last thing one wants them to take away is an oil slick.

Ordering another French conjugation book onlne. And a dictionary. Over-reliance on phone app dictionaries is a bore.

Fixing dinner with friends who live over the road – for sometime next week. Telling them that Mon/Wed ‘is out’ as that clashes with 5:2. Laughing inwardly (with the full knowledge that they will be too).


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Looking north from Vauxhall Cross. The building on the right is the side view of Mi6’s headquarters. The building on the left is a huge apartment building. The road heading away is actually Vauxhall bridge which connects the London Borough of Lambeth with the London Borough of Westminster.

The tail-end of tropical storm Bertha hit the UK on Sunday. I guess compared with when one is living in the Caribbean, using words such as “being hit by” is probably over-dramatic. It was very squally and we have had quite a lot of rain – but it wasn’t a great deal more serious that that.

I was dropped just south of Vauxhall Cross, the mega-gyratory which this acutely ugly part of town is known for. The Prudential RideLondon was in full flow which meant all roads crossing from the south of the river to the north were blocked. Well – not all – but for quite some miles. Driving would not have been feasible.

‘No bother’ as the Scots might say. I can walk home from Vauxhall in 15-20 minutes. As I got to the bus station – which sits in the middle of the gyratory – the heavens well and truly opened and the tempest descended once again. The bus station is somewhat ‘open’ other than having a roof on it, so rain coming sideways was not kept at bay. Luckily, there is a Waitrose Local on the south side of the bus depot so I sought refuge in there and did some food shopping.

By the time I came out – the worst of it was over and I walked over the bridge. The only final hurdle was the need to navigate crossing a busy road that had a major bicycle race taking place on it!

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One day I shall write a book

Rupert Graves as Scudder - Maurice

A hand-drawn picture of Scudder (as played by Rupert Graves in the 1980s film) – the fictional character in EM Forster’s ‘Maurice’. He is the younger working class lover with whom the protagonist, Maurice, ultimately falls in love and escapes – to build a new life. Source.

I shall write, I imagine, under a pseudonym. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. In the novella, the protagonist is a 30-something middle-class man who lives in a vast and impersonal city; London perhaps. Although trapped by his class – he is in a relationship with a younger, profoundly working-class man. And to put paid to that rising assumption that will inevitably follow – it won’t be about the physical relationship. That’s far too easy. That’s transactional. It exists – of course – and it’s important. But that’s not it.

It, instead, is a deep connectivity that transcends class boundaries. Being in that relationship feels, to all intents and purposes, like travelling in a foreign land. The compass to which one has clung for so long doesn’t work here. But the colours of this land burn brightly – exotic almost. And that powerful, deeper connection usurps all that is rational, that is conventional, that is known. This is special. Different.

When your own class is steadfast in its assumptions – and its judgements – one feels a kind of… ‘dislocation’ I suppose, into a kind of ‘no-man’s land’. To have stumbled headlong into a trench and to have found solace in the arm’s of ‘the other’. A connection formed of something deeper. More primal. Not just the ephemeral that comes from your own kind. An overwrought description perhaps. But we’re in uncharted territory.

I have always wanted to write a book – well, to write something beyond this blog. But I’ve never really known what to write about – until now.

Note that this is a significantly shortened, abridged post to the one originally penned and unpublished. My motto, perhaps, is that actually ‘less is more’. Vignettes and asides – rather than the detail – should be this blog’s raison d’etre.

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I want to ride on a white horse

Loved Goldfrapp’s set at Glastonbury. It took a while to ‘pick up’ but got there in the end.

UPDATED: Not sure the original ink was working.

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More Than This

Loved this version of More Than This by Bryan Ferry at Glastonbury at the weekend. Needed to hear it more than once to fully appreciate it. Sooo so good.


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Because I’m a #slavetolove

Loved Glastonbury. All of it. Especially Bryan Ferry’s set – among others. Not often that I go to the faff of actually uploading stuff onto Youtube – but here you go. Yes, I’m a slave to love…


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