Wednesday, February 8
Brockley Mess, 16:32
Last night I decided that I might have caught a cold or chill: something that involved sniffles anyway. I got up late, showered, and read. At 11:30 I went to The Regent for a full English breakfast with unlimited coffee and unlimited wifi. I noticed that Photoshop Touch seems to have finally stopped working properly, for which I blame Adobe.
I checked Google Maps and got a very easy route from Balhma to Brockley where Mark lives. I arrived about 13:20. He led me upstairs and asked me what I could smell. Industrial strength Evostik, or something very like it, I replied. He got his coat and led me down the road to his local café where he told me the complex relationship between him and his landlord.
We sit in the Brockley Mess which doubles as a café and gallery. We continue talking about his unusual tenancy, a nineteenth century cellar, Lithuanian builders, and their cheery and unprotected use of nearlethal chemicals. We then talk about the inscrutibilty of Henry Rollins, the madness of Robin Gibb, and Mark’s new recording project.
Mark stands in front of the paintings as we prepare to leave because neither of us feel like taking a selfie.
I get back on the train at Crofton Park, get off at the Elephant, and catch the 155 to see Casey again. Within seconds I will realise that I need to get off at the next stop, and would have done better to have walked the 200 metres.
Casey will say hello, go and get the balloon, and resume the game from where we left off on Monday. Denise will make an absolutely fantastic shepherd’s pie and I will eat loads. We will watch another series of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Challenge, and my question about whether anyone ever gets hurt will get a sudden answer when one of the contestants falls unconscious.
I will invite them all to Helsinki before taking the 155 bus back to Balham. I really hope they can come.