Train

I had to go to London with my son on Friday. Until Thursday afternoon when Joe got a letter from the hospital postponing his appointment for a month. He’s a practice manager and debt chaser for a Persian cosmetic dentist way along the coast.

“I’m still going to London. Wanna come?” That’s how I talk to my 25 year old. I’m down on the street with the kids. My little Anita’s still in Spain until Sunday night, I’ve arranged to take the day off from my shop, I’ve bought the train tickets, so why not go to London?

” No, I think I’ll vegetate for the day thanks dad. You go and enjoy yourself” is what he said. Translated into English that means ‘I’m going to lay in my bed all day making filthy phone calls to Megan and Hanna and whoever else I haven’t shagged lately, drink copious amounts of fizzy pop and play GTA on the PS3. Or something. So fuck off and leave me alone.’

So I took the train to the capital and had a morning of culture at the National Gallery, ate some Lebanese food at lunchtime and went to St Paul’s for a couple of hours in the afternoon. I bet you’re glad you didn’t come.

On the train back home that evening, I couldn’t help but overhear a one-sided conversation between two men, one of whom spent sixty seven minutes extolling his own skills as a cabinet maker, silversmith, goldsmith, blacksmith, leather worker, bootmaker, glass blower, copper sink maker, artistic genius, drug abuse counsellor, wonderful son and all round modest guy with an infuriating voice that sounded just like Bill Nighy in self satisfied mode and adenoids.  One of those people who hates astro-physicists because they’re the people who will one day declare that they’ve found the real centre of the Universe. The other man simply grunted and nodded occasionally.  I made the odd long distance contribution by looking over at them and sighing loudly.  It was a bit of an uneventful day really, but I enjoyed it because I’d broken free of the routine for a short while.

We are prisoners of our daily lives, I think. That’s one reason why for my dinner today I’ve brined a Guinea Fowl overnight. Because it’s something different that I haven’t cooked before. I made up a brine with salt, white pepper, mace and sugar, added a couple of bay leaves from the garden and lightly tore up a Satsuma into it for a fruity edge. The bird soaked in the brine overnight, and I’ve just drained it and rubbed it with olive oil. I’ll be cooking it soon. New potatoes and spinach balls will go nicely with it I think.

This is what passes for life at the moment. Other than looking forward to a little solitary break in the sun soon. Enjoy your life, it’s the only one you have.