Feb 202016



I have a note I made, in my oh-so-retro way, in a notebook. It says, ‘What is the relationship between meaning, context and purity?’ Hmm. I think we’d be better off ignoring that question and moving on…

I walk in: an embracingly chill air, an exquisite choir. Beyond angels. I soon realise the sweet sound is a recording – God’s Muzak – and their voices abruptly stop being beautiful and I start to fight against the cold.

There’s a tapestry: Madonna and Child. She has a ‘Don’t you even think about judging me’ look – narrowed, disapproving, Bacallish eyes. He has the face and huge, pasty (washed-out)/pasty (like a pie) English head of a 35-year-old computer programmer and a wide-eyed ‘Yeah? So? I’m breastfeeding. So what?’ look.

I leave them to it. Outside, there are four Italian tourists. Three have selfie sticks.


 Posted by at 4:53 pm
Feb 202016



…they chained up the swings on Sundays because breeze-in-face smiling would lead us into temptation and they couldn’t afford to pay Parkie overtime

and they cleaned up the crisp bags and empty tubes of glue once a week because they wanted to save our souls and because the locals had petitioned the council for three years and they didn’t know what else to do with the YOPs kids but arm them with blunt rakes and rubbish bags and send them out to battle our need to breathe a different world

and they cleared the white dog-shit and dunkies from the alleyways every September without fail, except during The Winter of Discontent (which lasted, roughly, from 1957 until 1982)

and they even threw ELO at us (although, to be fair, they also gave us Ziggy because no-one – not even them – could expect us to live in Enfield without at least one lightning stripe of transcendence)…

Ah, the old days. They tried their best not to give us Schubert or Ted Hughes or Goya because they knew we’d never, ever have been good enough.

 Posted by at 3:54 pm

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