Tuesday 23rd October


What a strange day. It unravelled to be beautiful but started, riding
a damp train populated by people dressed in grey, to the accompaniment
of irritating cellphones & loud conversations. Walking through
back streets to a deli where friends waited with tall hot chocolates
& sticky sweet things, everything wrapped in a rich coffee aroma.
Everybody shiny, their optimism overflowing buoying me up, direct
transfusion of enthusiasm, antidote to a London fog-head. Robin suddenly
appears in the doorway. Robin, looking wonderfully crazy like I love him,
spilling good energy all over the room. People dressed sharp & electric,
smiling, excited & I’m riding on their wave, surfing on their electricity
like we’re all on stage. At the corner there’s the Manics, suited-n-booted,
looking good as they always do, a sight for sore eyes & music to make the
soul sing. Shake hands, smiles & laughter, the wave gathers momentum &
I don’t want to fight it any more. Ride it round the corner, following wild
Robin, chaperone & legend of Newport. Journalist friends step up, shake hands, a red carpet ride past flashing cameras – black-black metal twisted between practiced fingers, “look left now, now look right, Look here, can you look here” And everybody smiling, gently shepherding us into a place we haven’tbeen for a long time, where cameras flash & everybody raises their glass to you, pats you on the back with genuine pleasure at your arrival. I didn’t think I’d enjoy it, but I did. My mate, my dear mate, sticking close & friends we’ve travelled the world with walking in close support like outriders bringing the children home.