Back from a day in London much relieved that a subsequent day in Bristol was cancelled. I had a lunchtime meeting to attend and a few hours after that before my flight home. I spent one of those in Watkins ‘spiritual’ bookshop near Leicester Square. I’ve been going there since the late 70s, and it’s just the same only more so. In those days it was more esoteric, dominated by the serious tomes of the Gurdjieff people, Vedanta and Buddhism. Now that Noo Age (and, some would say, sheer gullibility) has come mainstream the shop is packed with everything from self-help to Atlantean Healing Crystals, and even has a bearded Indian fortune teller giving consultations in the window. So far so awful, but the nice thing about it is that it hasn’t expanded its physical space so there’s still that delicious feeling of negotiating a cramped space absolutely heaving with books, so there’s still a pleasure in being there. I came out with a new Zen book and a second hand autobiography of a Gurdjieff disciple. One day I’ll write about my allegiances to faith and scepticism but this isn’t it.
I then pounded the pavements looking for a cafe with free wifi so I could catch up with some work; imagine a capital city where you can’t find a Starbucks. Strange but true. I found a few places with BT Openzone but you have to pay for that. Eventually, tired and getting a bit narky I found a Coffee Republic in the Strand which boasted free wifi. I sat down with a large latte and a rather dry and hard carrot cake and tried to log on. After some failures the solitary member of staff explained that they’d had a problem with wifi yesterday and, no it didn’t seem to be working today. By that time it was time to head for City Airport via the Docklands Light Railway. Changing from the Central Line to the DLR in Bank station is the equivalent of walking from one end of Leith Walk to another, except that everyone else is heading the opposite way. But my flight home was not only on time but arrived early, and I was glad of an early night.
I’m supporting Ms Fi at a gig on Sunday, playing guitar, bass, mandolin or whatever nifty new stuff she comes up with. The details are on the Sugden Pages.