Tuesday 17 April 2007

Dirty Old Town

The pigeon poo is still there. An irregular dried-on patch of white that seems to represent much about coming back to London. And perhaps even London itself. A semi-permanent reminder of the city’s immutable grime and thoughtless waste. Even the crusty drips stop short, never arriving at their target; stopped in time.

I’ve decided that I’ll clean it up when I re-paint the window frame, which has now almost entirely sloughed its coat of paint. This winter it had a fierce raking from the Southwesterly winds which I guess bring with them the stray seagulls I see outside from time to time, swaying drunkenly on TV aerials. Now, only a few flakes hang on, not enough to hide the spongey interior.

There’s no point endangering myself twice over I tell myself. I’ll get to it soon. I always seem to have a paintbrush or filler in my hands nowadays, trying to cure the latest problem before another piece of the house falls off. We’ve become inner city landed gentry: leaking, peeling and cracking, and without the cash necessary to repair it all properly. Perhaps I can charge for tours. Or let the roof fall in and call the National Trust.

While we were away, staff at the now-pristine pub next door forgot to lock the door to the store-shed which abuts us, and someone has moved in. Someone who isn’t choosy about where they sluice unmentionable matter which I can smell as I come downstairs. I thought I'd make use of having a vulnerable daughter in tow and touted her in the pub to illustrate the health risk. They promised to fix it, but I have no faith in London promises.


Gone said...

The seagulls are more likely to come up the Thames and spread out to feed from there.

Stay at home dad said...

Ah yes. Good point. But we are north of the Thames, so they could technically be blown here I suppose. No, probably not...