Tuesday November 16, 2004
So, after much discussion, yesterday, and this morning, and then, irritatingly, via text messages to and from the trains to Wales, we’ve decided to hold our noses and jump… back to London. Aiming for shortly after Easter next year.
It ain’t going to be easy. London property prices are ridiculously high, far out of our reach, so we shall have to rent a flat. And that won’t be cheap, either.
“That’s not a problem,” Graham said over the phone at the end of his journey. “I’ve done it before and I can do it again.”
“Once we’re established I can register for a council or Housing Association flat and, being all old and decrepit, have a fair chance of getting one without waiting too long. Being a poet doesn’t hurt, either.”
“That’d be fabulous.”
“Certainly more affordable than a private flat.”
“Usually better equipped, too.”
“Well, ok, it’s probably do-able.” I stopped and thought for a moment. “No, it’s definitely do-able. But what shall we do if it really doesn’t work?”
“We’ll take our house money and go live on a Greek island.”
“Ah. That we could certainly do.”
“There you are, then.”
Why London? Because it’s home, that’s why. I was born there, brung up there, and, having spent the past twenty or so years living in the country, I want to go back there. I want to hear the sound of Bow Bells of a Sunday morning, talking to all the other City bells. I want to be able to catch a ‘bus (I get a free senior citizen ‘bus pass in London) down to the Borough and enjoy a plate of pie and mash with parsley liquor. I want to be able to go over to Brick Lane in the East End to eat a real, genuine London bagel. I want to be able to go to a concert or the theatre or a poetry reading every night of the week if I have the energy. I want to be able to feed the ducks in the parks, and I want to drink good coffee and eat world-class pastries while I watch people from a pavement café. I want the galleries and the museums and the libraries and the… I just want London again. And, for many of the same reasons and a lot of his own, Graham wants it, too. Not least among them being the best employment prospects in the Western World.
“You’d better get really busy on eBay,” said Graham. “We’re going to have to trim down an awful lot if Harry, Dolly, you, me and our essential stuff is all going to fit into a flat.”
“That’s fine. eBay is fun.”
“What will you start with?”
“I’ve found some nice pieces of Carlton Ware from the first Welsh cottage in that box you dug out. And some McCoy, too. That’ll get me going. There’s a lot of stuff there.”
“We have at least two more boxes in the loft.”
“Bring ’em on.”
“Where are you now?” he asked.
“Parked by the side of the long lane between Frithville and Sibsey.”
“Oh, that’s a nice place.”
“Yes it is. Darn long way from Starbucks, though.”
Some nice pieces of vintage Carlton Ware