The boyfriend has an early shoot, so we struggle down four flights of industrial stairs with photo equipment. Side door has iron shutter pulled over it. Stand back admiringly, as with super-human strength boyfriend raises it a foot and disappears below.
Moments later, his head reappears to tell me the car has been stolen. "No!" I wail, "but I have to go to Safeway. Ditch poet Deen Perry is coming to supper!"
Shopping impossible without a car; only things you can buy in Shoreditch are shoes and handbags. When will someone open an Old Britain corner shop with New Britain delicatessen? Decide to take domestic kitty before boyfriend spends it on scratch cards, and visit Turkish baths; will then meet Deen Perry in coolest new Ditch eaterie. Suppose I'll have to treat him to dinner. Lift still out of action so schlep down to iron shutter and struggle 'til sweat breaks out. Where, oh where, is famed Girl Power?
Resident derelict takes pity on me and lifts it from the outside.
"Fancy a sha..." but I'm gone, stepping, cruelly, on his sleeping bag.
Turkish baths hot and moist as a rain forest; detect slight smell of dim sum... are they working smart, sharing steam with nextdoor Chinese takeaway? The sauna is full of naked women, chattering, despite bold sign saying "QUIET". Perhaps it should be in Bosnian. "Ssh," I say loudly, and am vigorously pummelled by one... recognise resident masseuse as my head hits the marble.
Totter out, head spinning more than a New Labour story. Deen Perry three- quarters of the way through a bottle of Chardonnay when I arrive at trendy converted abattoir. That'll be on my bill, why can't the spoilt brat drink Bud like the rest of us?
Menu frightening. Every kind of herb plus eight different things with a pumpkin. Ponder on Grouper with crushed vegetables.
Crushed? What do they do, jump on them? Surely, in p.c. age, the chef could be arrested? Perhaps chargrilled baby squid. Baby? No! even squid have feelings. Deen Perry grappling with man-sized shark, no doubt reliving Hemingway fantasy.
Deen drones on about his latest deconstructed epic poem. Am more concerned with deconstructing my dinner... wild mushroom baclava... thought that was a hat... with more layers than a post-modern novel. Deen, parched from his monologue, orders another bottle. Woman at next table has fallen off her chair. Could be the booze, but suspect coriander poisoning.
Escape, longing for male self-obsession and food. Padlock now sealing iron shutter. Prepare to dial 999... does it still exist?... but see Syd and Conan approaching. Syd unpicks the lock in 20 seconds and follows me up the stairs. Hope he wasn't doorstepping for protection money, the kitty is now completely empty.
Ransack cupboards searching for something, anything, to eat. Syd takes over... he's a wicked cook... and makes egg and chips. Fall upon it like a bricklayer.
Notice Syd looking down in the mouth, even Conan slavering less than usual. "What's up?" I say, magnanimous now replete. "It's like this, Kaz. I applied for that job as drug Czar an' I can't understand why I didn't get it." As he hands me a six-inch spliff, I can't understand either. Syd knows more about drugs than most people. "Why not," I say, "persuade your `associates' to open a supermarket?" Syd cheers up, immediately, seeing possibilities for product placement.
Loft looking its best as dope kicks in; two adjoining ballrooms with views of rooftops and neon. Sod ripped radicchio, wilted basil and stuffed Deen. Canary Wharf is winking, all's right with the world.Reuse content