This afternoon I was in the back of my local barber’s updating, when the sound of a fight breaking, and spilling into the shop, interrupted me (they have internet me barber’s). A woman stumbled in. She had blood on her face. The shop has no back entrance and I wasn’t going to leave until the police had arrived. I worried about my bicycle, but when I got out it was OK. Half an hour later, metres from my house there were police with sub-machine guns and pistols stuffed around their bodies like Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. The cops swooped on a car full of black youths but found nothing on them. It’s good to be home.
Other than the owl perched on his shoulder, the school portrait of my cousin Daniel, aged nine, in my parents’ living room, resembles that of any child in Britain. He wears a white shirt, tie and a big smile, his hair snipped by a seasoned hand.
In a surrealist school they’d twist his head to face the other way. In a few years a parrot should be used. Not as wise as an owl, but you can teach it to swear.
My mother bought me a fluorescent yellow cape for when I ride my bicycle. OK, it’s not a cape. Too jetlagged to know what they are called. Aprons? Cape sounds better. Imagine Superman with an apron.
Saw Superman Returns last night. Am into bad movies at the moment. Saw Rocky Balboa the other night. And Spider-Man Crawls in Berkeley. The heroes in Hollywood output are curiously Christ-like. The hero of 300 died in a distinctly Jesusesque pose (yes, he dies in the end, sorry).
So, farewell then, Tony Blair.
“I always did what I thought was right for the country,”
Such as lie to it, take its soldiers to war against the will of the people,
and reduce the prime minister’s office to the status of America’s poodle. With Iraq, you taught us if Britannia can’t rule the waves, it can waive the rules alright. Oh, and you did away with student grants and paved the way for a National Health Disservice.
Think back to 1997, you said. Really think back, you said. What was Britain like then?
Well, look, y’know, the Conservatives were a spent force. Now they are fighting fit and ready to take office. We thought you were good, Tony, not a bloody miracle-worker.
Will update in the next few days. Actually, this is an update itself. Last week I was in Long Beach with a friend. She parked next to a house as we went for a coffee fix. Two little girls were playing in their front garden. One of them said to me: “Would you like to buy a pen?”
I said:”Yes, but my mommy told me never to talk to strange children”.