It’s very wet in Battersea.
So wet the lights of the cars are making the road shine like a cheap bauble.
I left the cottage at 12.30, expecting to arrive in London at 1.45, in the event it took me until 2.50 to get here.
I walked into the flat and felt very strange.
The flat is all about work. It’s all about routine and rhythm. The flat was still as I had left it when I drove home on that fateful Thursday.
The lettuce lay limp in the fridge, the spinach dark and damp round the edges, the wastepaper bins full of work bits and the bed empty and unlovely.
I cut up two apples, one half rotten the other fully blown, and munched it whilst I sorted myself out for a trip to Farringdon.
My mother used to work on THE DAILY WORKER, when she was young, in the very building I went for my meeting.
I have a met a man who is leading me into a new life. He is sharp, savvy and God knows when he sleeps. He has more ideas on the go than a development team in the developing office of a developing country in development.
I took the 170 to Victoria. Had to take my little quilt jacket off as the heat on the bus, and the steamy windows, made it feel like a sauna.
Got to Victoria and it was cordoned off. ‘A funny smell’ said the policeman with a face like a slapped arse.
A funny smell had closed down a big london station.
I walked round the block and took the 24 bus to Westminster. I love the 24 route right through to Hampstead heath. If I hadn’t been one hour late for my meeting I may well have stayed on for a bit longer.
Westminster and the circle line to Farringdon Station. New route, new station. Never been there before. Lots of city workers climbed aboard at Cannon Street. Men clutching economical magazines talking very loudly, in a clipped kinda way, to young blonde women who just love Champagne and Pimms but resisted both at polo last week….
I had to move from the woman sitting next to me who smelt of horse manure. Normally I like the smell of fertiliser but not on a train in the centre of London.
Got out at Farringdon, right out of the station, tip-toeing in the rain to the traffic lights. Crossed over the road and there was a little grey door in the wall.
I was welcomed warmly, shown my desk, my belly all a flutter with nerves. After all I haven’t been anywhere for the last three and a half years. I shall need to build my confidence.
I left and took the train to Kings Cross, one stop, then the Victoria line back to Victoria. They had re-opened the station. By the time I got to the bustop the rain was teeming down, I just missed the bus due to a woman walking very slowly. She apologised to me as I sighed rather too loudly.
Hailed down a taxi. The cabbie wanted to talk about LBC, and radio and unemployment, and television and age and politics and gawd knows what. By the time we reached Battersea Square I was all listened out.
I had listened to LBC on the way up from East Sussex. I know, I know. It’s like taking out the box of wedding photos to see quite what he looked like before the divorce. I turned the radio off pretty damn quick preferring the silence. I got out of my taxi before I needed too preferring silence then too.
It’s now nearly 8.00. The police and ambulance alarms are chorusing round the flat. A wet Wednesday in September.
I have indigestion from eating too fast and too much, and I need to get home to rescue Jim’s chicken soup. I know we’ve been together for a long time but chicken soup is my province and is not something that can be learnt from a recipe. Jewish Penicillin has to be made from the heart and is not something to be taken lightly, as far as I can tell my Catholic husband has ruined his first ever attempt at the Semitic healing broth.
Nothing that a sieve, a sigh and a handful of bitter herbs can’t rectify.
The rain is not a teem any more its merely a steady drizzle. So it’s off with the lights, down to the car, on with the music and a pleasant drive home to a saucepan of disaster and a handful of family.