Brixton SW2

In this part of Europe having an address with an old system Zip code on it is a bit like having letters after your name. When the lease is signed on my room in SW2 i will feel a real sense of achievement.

‘Why Brixton?’ a few people have asked me. Because it’s on the way to Sutton, because it isn’t just any old place where nothing happens, because it’s a cosmopolitan place with an interesting recent history and because i’ve always wanted to live here. Will that do? Can i have a few private reasons of my own please…  Oh, and it’s central so it may help me to get work in engineering, if i’m really lucky and i talk real fast…

Today i move in, hopefully, which means dragging my bags all the way back up to Victoria Station and then repeating the final stage of the big trek from Adelaide. I have spent the last few days in Belmont at Dave’s place which has been very nice and oldy worldy and close to my sister. Belmont has a most excellent bakery, English doughnuts are like french bread, no-one can reproduce the taste no matter how hard they try. As i sank my teeth into the first proper doughnut for a decade i thanked myself for being here.

The night before last i caught the trains up to Leytonstone in search of another fellow student from Wrexham Poly. This involved about four hours train travel. Deep in the tunnels of the Central Line there was a man begging who had lost his hands and face in a fire of some sort. As individuals we are but cells within this organism humanity. As individuals we have no intrinsic worth and will not even be given what we need if we do not pull our weight toward the common goal. Bless this man for struggling on and bless the society who has the beginnings of the mechanisms which can sustain him.

Leytonstone has a subtly different atmosphere to Sutton. There are more middle eastern and north eastern migrants settling here. While searching the backstreets for anyclue as to the whereabouts of my old friend, i discovered the most amazing supermarket. The bakery was full of things i had never seen before. They had some Turkish looking baklava and the girl who popped up from behind the counter to serve me appeared to be Russian or Kazakh or something. I have a lot to learn about Europe in the new millennium. I got bottles of orange pop for twenty nine pence and some salami danish… and some really tasty halva to sustain me on my trip.

When i found the house my friends mother used to live in she had gone. Fortunately his beautiful but suspicious sister was still there and called him for me.  ‘There’s a white man at my door and I din’t know what he wants…’  Well i guess i deserved that, but i got his phone number, and a good giggle out of it, bless it. Love it, how can you  not, when you haven’t spoken to someone for six years and when you call them they offer you a job, you can’t beat that.

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