Sunday, May 30, 2004

One great Saturday night at last

It is commonsense I suppose:

Expect nothing, receive nothing, and you drudge on.

Expect nothing, receive something, and you are pleasantly surprised.

Expect something, receive nothing, and you are pissed off.

Expect something, receive something, and you want more.

At last, a Saturday night worthy of London. Everything seemed dire until I neared Shoreditch, which although not heaving, definitely had a promising atmosphere.

I went into the Joiner's Arms, and was knocked for six. The place was rocking, with an eclectic atmosphere that felt Berlinesque. Only one other place in London has ever given me the feeling of what Berlin must have been like before the Wall went down, and that other place shut down 5 years ago. The Joiner's is usually a dosser's pub, which for a long time was the only hold out against the boring Millenium trend in London (the Millenium trend was stainless steel, sharp lighting, gaudy colours, slick clothing fashion, laugh laugh laugh because you're young, beautiful, and that's what you're supposed to do)

In retrospect, the people there were also remarkably drug free! I have heard that the drug scene is at last withering in London, since last winter when the E apparently became less effectual than Aspirin. Perhaps London is finally weaning itself off those mind-numbing addictions and is beginning a quiet renaissance in the clubbing world that returns to simpler pleasures.

And what a night for me. For once the beer oiled my social graces, or perhaps for once I had social graces for the beer to oil! The result of this was some heavy snogging with a fantastic kisser. Kissing is perhaps the one part of foreplay that most indicates a capacity for Love. This is because it is descended from the feeding behaviour from one animal to another, which is the most basic element of caring, sharing and protecting that constitutes the important qualities of Love. Kissing is therefore the one activity that straddles the two domains of Love and Sex.

It's amazing how you can forget these simple facts of life, and how it takes a good kisser to remind you.

Rolling out of the pub in the middle of the night and wandering through the quiet streets of East London was itself a magic not enjoyed for too long. Did you know that some of the traders for the Columbia Road Sunday flower market start setting up their stalls at 3.30AM? And in the finest tradition of Eastenders, they give you a brief look and just let you get on with your weekend careering.

Then I passed a Mini Cooper in beautiful condition. What do these silly buyers of BMW's and Audi's know of fun? They want to become a feeble component in some ruthless robot. With a Mini, you are a living breathing part of a living breathing car.

Finally to happen upon St Matthew's of Bethnal Green. Beautifully lit, amidst spacious tidy greenery, its simplified Palladian lines looming over you against the warm night sky, to remind you that today is Sunday. I thought I knew every inch of the East End, and this was a rare feeling of romance that just washed over.

The N25 night bus was even civilized, for once! Not crammed with the more usual dangerous cocktail of the dispossessed, the wrecked, the loud, and the criminal.

Getting home, I find a message waiting from Great Snogger. Then I dial back automatically without checking and accidentally finding myself talking to BM. BM had been looking for me, and while chatting, I get a knock on the door to find BM already waiting at my doorstep! This sort of thing never could happen before mobile phones were invented, and it had me bowled over laughing with surprise!

BM isn't a snogger at all, which says a lot, but at least I understand that now. I suppose plain fun and being flattered is okay occasionally, so long as the above rules of Expectation are minded.

Is this Love & the City, or what?

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