an idiot in london


Thursday, 23rd March
A bit of couch action

Another day of househunting. Again I spent the morning leaving messages on answering machines all over London, hoping that someone will call me back.

One person did actually answer the phone. I arranged to meet him this afternoon. And the bloke from Finchley Central (it's a suburb, not an aviary) called back and arranged a "viewing" for this evening.

Andy lives in Hammersmith Road. It's a nice area. I was greeted at the door by a bloke pushing fifty who put little value on dressing up for potential live-in tenants. The room was a pokey little thing and not overly attractive.

In the time honoured tradition of house-sharing, we then adjourned to the living room to have a little get-to-know-you session. Turns out Andy is a psychologist. (Or psychiatrist...I'm told there is a difference, but I can't tell. They're like ants - we can't tell the difference between the boy ones and the girl ones, but obviously they can work it out.) He specialises in "helping" musicians.

I commented that in order for him to earn a living, he has to rely on musicians being screwed up. Surely he's on an easy wicket there!

As for the flat, well there was stuff everywhere. Notice that I didn't say "crap everywhere", because this was all useful stuff. Or stuff that could be useful. You can't throw things away that could be really useful later.

He was an interesting bloke. He used to be a musician. He could even remember Wendy Carlos' name when she was a bloke. (Walter, I think he said.)

I told him that I was going to give up music if I wasn't an International Rock Superstar by age 30. "Pop music is a young man's game!" I said. I hope that Elton, sorry Sir Elton John, is one of his clients. Because I then told him that people like Elton John were just over the hill and should give it away. "Dear Sir Elton," I said, "Give it away, you're too bloody old. You haven't been even slightly relevant since 1975." We can live in hope.

He then pointed out that the Rolling Stones are still making shitloads of money from touring. I told him that no-one I knew went to see the Rolling Stones, it must just be old people who aren't insulted by the sight of Keith Richards' corpse staggering around on stage.

When I rang him later this evening to say that I wouldn't take the flat, I think he was a little disappointed.

Finchley Central was a bit of a waste of time too. Alex answered the door wearing camouflage army pants and boots. After a few minutes I said "I'll be off then." And off I went.

POSTSCRIPT: For dinner I went to a cheap Italian place. I was served unsliced pizza! But the highlight was when the table next to me was served bruscetta, but the waiter called it garlic bread with tomato!