10 June 2008


As I cycled to the station, reflecting on the absurdity of cycling 4.76 miles each way, each day, at the age of 51, with a view mainly to saving money (though today the weather is glorious, and I can feel my legs becoming stronger with every rotation of the pedals), I realised more clearly than I have before that I am on a trip to see my friends. I have come to rely on friends like Nancy, Vanessa, Bruce and Andrew, and Shane when he was here, and Robert Venables too before he retired, for emotional support.
A difficult train journey today, which seems to be down to a track circuit failure in the Paddington area. Apart from jotting down my increasingly depressing thoughts, I listen first to a BBC podcast. which I don't really take in, then to the Four Last Songs, which I so often find I want to hear - another sign of incipient old age, no doubt. Then for a little light relief I turn to Robyn Hitchcock, which is a bit of a mistake:
Maybe I will find today/Maybe I will lose tomorrow ...
and then:
So you think you're in love/well you probably are/ but you've got to be straight about it ...
Worse still: anything by Robyn, even his most recent stuff, has the power to transport me immediately to the basement of the Hope and Anchor circa 1980, which I am obliged to admit was about the best time of my life.
Despite the unpromising start, I had a reasonable day at work - the knowledge that it won't be for much longer makes it much, much better. I do wish I could tell people that I will be leaving, though: and I also wish I had a job lined up to go to - though all being well that won't take long. The run from Paddington to the office was perfect, marred only slightly by inhaling a plane tree seed - at least, that's what I always blame when something like this happens - and choking until I could clear my throat. I crossed most of Hyde Park barefoot, running along the edge of the grass, but didn't feel any particular change in the way I was running. It was better than yesterday's run down the sand at Constitution Hill, which hadn't been turned or even disturbed by the horses for whose convenience it is really there so was rock hard and stoney to boot.
The run back in the evening was also pretty sensational, though I arrived seconds too late for the half-six train. Partly this was because of a long wait at Hyde Park Corner -I must write to Mayor Boris about the subway! - and partly because Joyce suddenly produced a stack of typing for me as I tried to leave. I must impress on her that I need my work by half-five, which could transform my life - and which will have to be the rule when I start a new job.
I realised that tomorrow is the legal charities garden party - I wonder whether RCV will be there (and I realise looking at this a week later, I wonder whether VCR will be there)? - and I have to stay in town anyway to catch the first Eurostar to Brussels at 0600. Ellen, who has acquired responsibility for getting the BDB contingent together for the garden party, is delighted to dispose of another ticket, which at this late stage does not bode well. Maybe Chris (and Steve) will be there. Maybe Lin will be there - last year I gatecrashed VT's private area to speak to him. To think that we were still in negotiations until the end of the year - and then to think how it all ended.

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