Pigeon English

I currently have a weekly session with a study skills tutor, who checks up on my work habits; though in the nicest possible way. Her room is deep within the Orwellian confines of Senate House, with its pleasing sense of ghosts and past lives led.

We meet every Monday. Today I tell her about my current stresses and worries about not getting enough done (a final essay due in next week, plus an exam on May 22nd to revise for). She dares me to take a complete holiday from social media – a ban – until the next session. It might make me more productive. It might even make me more happy – my feelings about being on social media are still so mixed. Either way, it’s worth a try. As next Monday is a bank holiday, this effectively means staying off Twitter and Facebook for two weeks. So I’m starting today.

I’m tempted to add radio and non-essential Internet access too, just to see what it would be like to spend a fortnight fully immersed in books and offline writing.


Thursday last: a day out to Ipswich to meet with Dad. Many parts of the town of my birth are now conspicuously rundown, possibly even abandoned. The silvery Odeon cinema has been empty for the best part of a decade, while Upper Orwell Street is full of boarded up shop fronts, windows with eviction notices and broken pavements fenced off by steel barriers, forcing the pedestrian to dodge the cars in order to walk down the street. One empty shop’s upper storey has broken windows with pigeons flying in and out. What shops there are seem to be either franchise charity shops, or ‘cash convertors’, ie what used to be called pawn shops. The following weekend the Sunday Times runs its ‘Rich List’ feature.


Recent outings: a farewell bash in a King’s Cross bar for Emma Jackson and Adey Lobb, who are moving to Glasgow. Something of an end to an era, as I remember Emma’s first place in London, circa 1996. It was when she was in Kenickie, and she shared it with the other band members, Monkees-style.

Also there: Marie & Pete of Kenickie, Erol Alkan, Bob Stanley. Simon Price DJs, and even plays a Romo tune (Plastic Fantastic) just like he did when I met him, and met Kenickie. It feels long ago – it was long ago. A lifetime piling up, as the Talking Heads song goes.

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