Sunday, July 19
The Grand, 21:30
Today was almost entirely taken up with Luke’s boxing match.
We had agreed to meet at the Falcon for breakfast at 11:00 so that he could give me my pass for the show. He was running late so I had drunk one spring water, one orange juice, and read almost all of The Observer before he arrived at 12:30.
We had lunch instead. I bought a sharing plate with various dips and vegetables and we shared and dipped.
He then told me that there was a strict dress code that he had only just found out about. When he left for his medical I left for Arding & Hobbs where I bought a dress shirt and bow tie.
At 15:00 I was queuing to get into the Grand, which I had last visited to see Bootsy Collins sometime in the early nineties. The other people on line had the look of south London gangsters.. Two were actually smoking cigars.
Inside I was joined by Luke’s girl friend Alice and her friend; and then by two of Lukes friends.
The first fight was stopped after about thirty seconds. The second was stopped when one of the boxers dislocated his shoulder trying and failing to hit the other one. The first women’s fight ended in the first round when one of the fighters burst into tears.
Luke’s fight was the twenty fourth, by which time everyone was bored with the whole procedure. Luke had realised that his opponent was very nervous and so he piled in quickly, and connected a lot until the other fighter lost heart. The fight was stopped early in the second round and Luke was declared the winner.
Initially Luke thought he had broken the other man’s nose but later decided he hadn’t, when he spent some time afterwards talking to him and his parents. They were planning to go for a drink and not to hospital.
Afterwards I will go for a quick drink with Luke, Alice, Ned and someone called Cooky who had somehow managed to get extremely drunk while absolutely everyone else was completely sober.
I will be in bed by 23:45.