the houses are small-to-average sized and it all looks like a neat little nuclear-family zone but now I've been here a few days I'm noticing details like this car and I'm wondering how the rest of the family are going to fit in it and what sort of holiday are they going on.
Just nearby is Hipster Central - shops selling faux workwear for the cost of a ballgown, hipster barbers where the men in funky spectacles go to have their beards combed and a Wholefoods Market full of groovy folk buying artisan cordial. these shops jostle next to halal butchers and everything-costs-a-pound shops and then the hipster shops stop and there are lots of the sort of greengrocers that burgeon out on the pavement selling the kind of bananas you have to cook and big thick hairy-rooted vegetables that I don't have the confidence to name correctly.
Today I walked east and the whole world was out in the sunshine. After the hairy-rooted vegetable shops came the all-sorts-of-groceries-plus-money-transfer shops and the population became noticeably muslim; women in hijabs and lots of men out with their sons looking summery in long shirts and white crocheted caps then I walked through an invisible forcefield to a completely different neighbourhood thronging with people coming back from the synagogue, the men looking regal in furry cartwheel hats and shiny coats, women and girls trailing after them in a curious mix of scarves and rainhoods.
Two minutes later I'm in the countryside walking past a huge park to the river where I met a lady with a narrow boat that I am going to live in after Easter.
one is very quiet and a bit asthmatic, the other is a devil. If I put food out for both at the same time the devil goes over to where the other one is eating, fishes out the food from under her nose and eats it off the floor in front of her.
The day started out peculiarly because the man sitting next to me on the bus to London got off before my stop and took my coat with him.
By the time I realised, he was long gone and I was standing at Victoria in an ill-fitting blazer. I am really hoping that he isn't enjoying being squeezed into my neat little reefer jacket and will get in touch with the bus station in the same way that I did so we can swap back.
This evening, possibly inspired by a day in gorilla-ish sleeves I managed to leap onto a bus just as it was setting off back to Bristol and plonk myself in the front window seat next to a nice-looking lady. We chatted then she dozed and I knitted and then she woke up when we were near Swindon and we talked a bit about me and then I asked about her and she said
she didn't look as though she wanted to tell me everything so I said that I would definitely buy her book (and I just have) and that she should tell me everything because I used to work for Peter Gabriel
She told me that she'd been David Bowie's sort-of-landlady until Ziggy Stardust, they set up an Art Lab together at the pub up the road and her house was always full of rockstars and fans and she'd been working on the book for two years and was going to launch it at Christmas but then heard about Blackstar and decided to wait until the 8th of January.
then she told me I'd had lunch with Tony Visconti just the week before and he didn't say a word
this is a sliced-off version of my all-time-favourite David Bowie/Brian Eno/Tony Visconti film
David Bowie died first thing Monday. In the evening I walked to the bus stop and the top part of the post office tower was spinning with a lit up a message to him and in Brixton there was a mass David Bowie singalong - it was a very emotional day.
I sat on the top deck but didn't pay attention to my actual seat until I wanted to get off the bus and realised that the long ride had melted a gob of well chewed gum onto my jean-clad backside.
Because getting off the top deck of a London bus can be a God-awful affair and because of David Bowie and because I was ravenous, the gum was forgotten by the time I made it to the pavement. Back at the house that I am taking care of for strangers I put David Bowie music on and made supper.
Then I sat in one of the expensive black leather dining chairs owned by the people who are trusting me to look after their home*, I sat in that chair and ate my delicious supper and then I stayed in the chair for a really long time watching old David Bowie videos. When I finally tried to stand up I couldn't because the gum on my jeans had welded my bottom onto the seat. I peeled myself off gently and then stared in horror at the mess.
Warm gum smears worse the more you wipe.
I panicked but luckily I'm also the kind of girl who reads Top Tips
I put my gummy jeans in the freezer along with a folded wet cloth that had a nubbly side and then I went to bed
In the morning I chipped the gum off my jeans and rubbed the iced nubbley brick on the leather seat and it cleaned up like new.
I'm back in London with the bum-crayoner who has now totally associates me with the disappearance of her human slave - this cat is angry
She's not speaking to me at all but waits until I'm out of the living room then sneaks down to wipe her bottom on the white sofa, the mdf skirting boards have melted in the places she goes to urinate in rage at my presence and all this rage is fuelling a huge appetite, she's wolfing food like a ... wolf
I'm sitting in the white sofa right now, trying to avoid the cat's artwork, rain gushing down outside, writing my first proper academic essay.