Back to Macmillan, more of the same, but this time with added fatigue, and the tropically-inclined central heating (on Monday a welcome change from the Arctic conditions at home), resulted in my developing a headache. But I got the work done. Because I’m a hero.
I walk up to the VAC from Macmillan to say hi to Stephen and David. I’m suprised by how quick it is – it looks a lot further in the Philip’s / Ordnance Survey map I’m using. This will be of some relevance later on. It’s also a bit of tedious pedantry in itself.
Have a nice long chat to S & D and the nice woman at the bar downstairs, whose name I never catch but who is trying to acquire a knowledge of Flash as well, but by the legitimate route (that is to say getting someone to teach her rather than just stabbing around at it). The Sphere of Chaos (things braking down / not working / working strangely) appears to be affecting her too – certainly her litany of glitchfulness beats mine into a corner.
I am on first (as I asked), and play Little Games and Waltz Without Touching. Not sure how that last one went, really. It seemed to be going well while I was playing it, and I do like it, but perhaps it’s just a bit dull. An album track. Shudder.
Stick around for a few more acts and then sneak off to see Will off.
I’ve been told that the best way to get there is to take a 73 to the New North Road and then walk from there, but when I check in the book after the bus has gone what I think is that distance, I’ve travelled twice as far I thought I would. That is to say, distances in the Philip’s book look twice as far as those in the A-Z. So it’s all the map’s fault. Yeah!
Anyway, I’m on the Ball’s Pond Road, subject of a million Barry Cryer gags, but a place that one would want neither to visit not (God forbid) live. I have to walk all the way back again (the only considerable distance travelled all day, and the only unnecessary one and I have to do it on foot. There is a Divine Being and he doesn’t like me very much).
Will and folks have met up in the Babushka on the New North Road. There used to be a branch of Babushka near me (chain of bars, named after the Russian word for “Grandmother”, with a vaguely Soviet-retro feel to them. I think they specialise in Vodka, but am not that sure. Or indeed, as a teetotaller, very interested), but the incredibly low lighting always gave the impression that they were closed. They are not such a branch any more (although M-Bibe, the new styling, is no better lit). This one might go the same way, since Will’s extensive social circle are the primary occupants.
There is a mirror in the loo with the motto “If not you, then who? If not now, then when?” printed on it. Strategically placed near the condom machine.
Over the next couple of hours I chat about various things (Yugoslavian music; the Elephant and Castle; the magnificence of the incipient Jeays album; the fact that to the English-speaking world, untranslated writers from the rest of the world might as well not exist, though I’m one to speak since I only speak English and a smattering of BASIC, and twenty-year-old computers are not really vibrant conversationalists), and then Phil gives me a lift on his way home. Which is nice of him.
Strange to think that Will’s going off around the world with no intention of ever coming back (he plans to wind up in Italy). Still, the Internet is a great bringer-together of people, so that they can share love, friendship, information, viruses and that petition about the plight of women under the Taliban.
Soon Kalihari Bush Men will be being asked to pass on that petition. And they’ll send it to the Baka pygmies. And we will be a whole world, united in idiocy.