I'm travelling home. I don't have to go anywhere after this. I have no plans at all. The trip was interesting and saw me belting out a Foo Fighter's song I didn't know to a sweaty room full of middle-aged women after being awake for twenty hours straight. The next day saw me chip my front tooth on an onion ring (something my magnificent teeth have bested only once before when I left a brand new filling in a cheese soufflé).I spent Sunday snoozing on a sofa with a pregnant woman, trying to convince her that the best possible name for her unborn child would be "Stella". I'm glad I didn't convince her now as I've gone off it a bit and, as we were watching both "Countess Dracula" and "Crucible of Terror" (my choices - a guest's privilege!)the choice seems so obvious to me now: Jess, Simon, the name of your daughter should be INGRID RAVEN ENDICOTT! (a name designed to inspire ire, no doubt!)
I took a shopping trip to Carnaby Street with the other tourists, bought shoes identical to the ones I was wearing, skipped over the river like a stone. Wrote a poem about Alan Price, and a film treatment for a blues based rom-com and cast it (Eric Stoltz to direct!). There was even a minor role for Joss Stone and bizarrely, as I write this in a bar in Heathrow, a news report flashes up that two men from Manchester have been arrested for plotting to kill the soul-diva-by-royal-appointment: I was only plotting to cast as a snippy secretary!)
I've drunk a lot of wine, eaten very little and bathed less and all i all had a very good time with my remarkable friends. I'm continually amazed that I'm able to inspire loyalty and kindness in people that I'm uniformly rude and sarcastic to. It can only be Kelly's benign influence; it would certainly never have happened before. In fact her beautiful face beaming sleepily down from our bedroom window as I drove off in a taxi at five in the morning has haunted me throughout this trip. I can't believe I'm loved by such a remarkable woman. Nor can a lot of my friends, mind you! I miss her so much that I don't think I'll ever be able to leave her again. A holiday is a luxury that I can ill afford.
That said I haven't laughed so much in a long time: when Mike suggested that a workable punk-rock analogue for Johnny Rotten would be "Ernie Fartz", with that dead-pan innocence that he does so well, I creased about six different fluids out of my body. In fact he had said "Ernie Farce" - in his mind there is an exact correlation between saying something is rotten is the same as saying "this is a bloody farce". This is because, in his heart of hearts, Mike is a 1960's Soho bookie's runner. But I do prefer Ernie Fartz because I nearly died laughing at it and by the end of the evening we had the entire band: Ernie Fartz, Peter Zout, Walter Torcher, Sven Diagram and Kenny B. Leivitt. I'd buy that record any day.