Monday, October 23
Balham High Street, 12:45
Today I will travel home and so I decide to start the day with a big breakfast at 9:00. Having liked my Sunday dinner I opt to try the breakfast at The Moon Under Water. It proved large and pleasant and, once again, I had it with unlimited coffee while I read the I newspaper.
I went back to the hotel and did some more writing before checking out. I had a lot of time to kill before my plane left, so I decided that I would walk to up Balham HIgh Street, past Clapham South, to Clapham Common.
On Balham High Street I catch the somewhat incongruous site of a Radha Krishna temple, with no sign of activity. I stand and watch for a few minutes but nobody enters or leaves. I feel like a private eye specialising in fringe religions, pull my hat down, put my gun back in my pocket, and move swiftly on.
I walk past the Tesco where Auo and I used to shop and the Euro Hotel where we stayed twice. Memories come flooding back, and leave me wishing we could do it again. I decide to stop briefly at the Windmill to see if it has changed. It has; or rather it seems to have completed its change from how it used to seem to how it seems now. How does it seem now? It has tried to go upmarket with much more emphasis on the small hotel above the pub, which always used to seem like an afterthought.
I will rapidly leave and walk across the common the the tube station. As I approach the station I will see a 5 Guys about fifty metres away. Walking over to take a look I will find myself sucked in. I will make a quick decision: I will need to have something to eat before I get home and this looks more interesting than eating at the airport. I will opt for an early dinner and order a burger, chilli fries and a peanut butter milkshake. I won’t regret it.
I will take tube to the airport and on the way I will get a message telling me that my bag will go into the hold because “the flight is completely full”. I will dutifully check it in and the woman on the desk will inform me that “Marmite is a paste” and would not therefore have gone with me as hand luggage. I will think: at least I will get my Marmite out of this. I will then think: if I had known I would have to check the bag in then I would have bought Bovril as well. A score draw then.
The flight will have no empty seats at all. I will sit in 28F. The flight will leave thirty minutes late. I will arrive in Helsinki hot, tired and irritated. I will wait for my luggage and eventually get a taxi home.
I will arrive home at approximately 1:00 and manage to go to bed without waking Irma up.