In my post-pub dreams the old deserted tin box factory on Blackstock Road was going to be turned into something exciting. Any day now. Over the years it has been the site of:
1) A writers’ retreat with running water and personalised minibars
2) A cafe for nymphomaniac jazz chicks
3) A zoo for put-upon grey squirrels
4) A cinema for stay-at-home dads
5) A swimming pool for people with dodgy knees
6) A museum of cheese
Unfortunately I always dreamed these things but never did anything about them. Now the bulldozers have arrived and the old deserted tin box factory on Blackstcok Road is now just a few piles of browny-yellow brick.
So which of my ideas will become reailty? Or will it become just another shite block of modernist flats?
On days like this when I’m really busy it’s essential that, when popping out on errands, I manage to avoid the sailor. Whenever I bump into the sailor he tends to take up a blocking position that is impossible to counter. And I am stuck.
The sailor’s favourite topics of conversation are:
1) The speedbumps in the road that lorries drive over and keep him awake at night
2) The inevitablity of the UK become a Muslim state
3) Women and how he doesn’t have much luck with them
A while ago I rushed out to the corner shop to buy some herbs for some fish I was cooking. The sailor must have been hiding in undergrowth in his front garden for he suddenly popped out in front of me, took up the blocking position and started to tell me about his relationship with Michael Flatley, the Riverdance bloke. He even had a photo of the two of them in his jacket pocket.
ME: Got to go. I’m in a hurry.
THE SAILOR: You’re always in a hurry. You need to relax a bit more.
And it’s true. I only ever seem to meet the sailor when I’m pushed for time.
Now and again I will try to predict where I’ll meet him. I’ll change direction at the last minute, but there he’ll be. He must have some kind of high tech sonar equipment built into his fedora.
“In 15 years time we will all be Muslim, you know.”
The New River has returned. I feel a bit confused. Part of me wants to leap up and down with unrestrained joy, splashing about in the clear waters shouting “Look kids, let’s catch fish!”. My more sensible side is eager to phone Thames Water to come and sort out the problem.
Our street as two burst water pipes, a little spring at each side of the road sending the water cascading down the hill. Actually, that would make it the New River for about 30 yards then a tributary of the Hackney Brook the rest of the way.
God, I need to get out more.