Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Park life

Well, today I decided to postpone my jaunt to the bank as thinking about opening a UK bank account without any UK deposits was entirely too much. Rather, I went to the park, in this instance named Turnham Green. I even listened to Blur to get into the mood until I decided it was entirely too twee even for me, nowadays, and so I scrolled down to the Bronx, like a total bad-ass. In the park it was me, a cone of hot chips and my friend Peter Stuyvesant. Peter was fine company , in a strange fast-burning-patented-by-Janeane-Garofalo-in-Romy-and-Michele kind of way, until I bothered flipping the pack and he advised in a haughtily accented bold print: "I do say, smoking ages your skin prematurely … and you are almost thirty, dear."

Give or take a few phrases.

In a fit of outrage, I kicked Peter out into the green, confusing the young children playing soccer … only to fetch him again a few minutes later. After all, five pounds can buy you a car in Australian dollars.

At the park I made the fascinating anthropological observation (which I promptly noted in my field book) that Australian women wear pregnancy FAR better than English women. Loud and proud linea nigra lines and post-very-recently-pregnant bellies in crop tops were something I really didn’t feel like seeing ... and probably never will feel like seeing. And then there was the woman who insisted on shoving her baby away from her down the path a la the Battleship Potemkin. I considered screaming "STOP, THE BABY!" in Russian, but refrained. Permanently erased from my memory (soon, I hope) was the 70-year-old man sunbaking his paunch in the milky sunshine wearing nothing but black jockey briefs.

Effectively, this mise-en-scene down in the park further prompted me to avoid pregnancy … at least for the next six months*.


Oh dear.


But really, the worst thing was it put me off my chips. So I fed them to the pigeons in strict defiance of the nearby sign that commanded 'DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS'.

Everyone has been friendly to me so far, except for the gleaming speedball-eyed skinhead with an inordinately hairy back who decided to interrupt me enjoying the witty captions in the NME at Sainsburys by coming up and screaming “FUCK!” in my face before collecting a blue plastic basket to load up on his nightly aperitif of orange juice and Ajax, I presume.

And that made two people in my day in dire need of a gluggy tub of Nad’s.


*Timbob is off to Bangkok tomorrow for the next six months. He'll be living far cheaper than I shall. I must stop obsessing about money.