|I think it’s short for argument-bargument
||[May. 3rd, 2008|10:35 am]
|||||incredulous Boris talk||]|
Funny week. I had the radio on constantly, and Scenes From An Italian Restaurant was played three times on different stations. Halfway through the third listen I heard a beautiful, melodious voice at my shoulder saying actually, this is a pretty amazing song. Yet I was the only person in the car at the time. That was on Wednesday, when I had to drive to a remote spot in Suffolk for business reasons. I found a B&B that looked just fine through the lens of the internet. What’s wrong with the internet in this respect? Ask for a picture of a navvy bumming an antelope and it immediately returns many precisely matched results, but for B&Bs it’s a bag of snakes.
The only things in the room were a single bed, a wardrobe filled with children’s clothes, and a combined TV/video on a pine chest with a few films inside. Freaky Friday the remake, Slap Her She’s French, Road Trip. On top of the pile was an unboxed tape labelled INTERESTED IN MAKING MONEY? DISCUSS THIS PROGRAMME OVER BREAKFAST WITH PAUL. It began with a man addressing the camera while he walked around what I’m pretty sure was High Wycombe town centre. Something about selling electricity to your friends. I started fuming about it but then I fell asleep. I am unable to talk about what happened in the morning.
Yesterday I visited one of my oldest friends, who has moved from London to one of these places on the Kent coast where just five years ago there was nowhere to buy an Orla Kiely cushion or an old wardrobe painted white; I mean, an armoire. We had lunch at his house, looking out at his lawn from the kitchen. It was just me and him and his little boy, eating Covent Garden tomato soup and expensive white bread, talking about books and films. Come at about one and I’ll make you a light lunch from the 80s, he might as well have said. From twelve to fourteen I went to his meticulous house every Saturday, and it was a tin of Heinz tomato soup at noon with rubbery slices of Sunblest, Penguin biscuits later. I usually left at about six in the evening, while his mum was laying the kitchen table for the next morning’s breakfast. He had a Sharp record player with a vertical turntable and a stylus on both sides, so you could play a record all the way through without turning it over. I still feel close to him, in a pointless sort of way. It would feel phoney to confide in him. We just talk about books and films and music, approximately twice a year.
Anyway, I was sitting in his kitchen, in this place I had never been to before, thinking what is it that this reminds me of, and it was only when I was leaving that I realised everything smelt just as it did in his childhood home. Nothing pungent or unpleasant - just that domestic cocktail sort of thing that you only pin down by contrasting it with the slightly different versions in other houses. How did he hold on to that? I think I was just smelling an old picture in my brain.
On the way back I went to a branch of John Lewis, where I was mistaken for a member of staff in the electronic gadgets dept. “So do you have any DSes then?” I can’t even express how much this fucked me off.