To supplement my earnings as a writer (cue laughter).... What? I don't make millions from my scribblings? Sadly no. Anyway, to supplement my earnings as a writer, I started working for a great, small company a couple of months ago. It's based on Wandsworth Road, London, just beyond Lavender Hill and close to Clapham Old Town / Common. Which means, I'm commuting again.
(Should I write a blog post about the frustrations of being a commuter, the appalling manners and habits of my fellow passengers? Maybe - right after I finish this novel I'm writing about a boy wizard in a school for magic, who has a dark past...)
My walk to and from work takes me past the Grade 2 listed Battersea Arts Centre. Formerly Battersea's town hall before absorption into Wandsworth, it's a beautiful late Victorian building. It's currently undergoing a renovation. I know this because the outside steps and pavement are being revamped as I write - beautiful slabs of stone awaiting to be laid. They're not doing it on the cheap. It's good this piece of heritage is in such good hands.
Anyway, it is my custom to stop here as I await my evening train and write the odd blog post (hello world!), pen hackneyed poetry - my new thing - or tweak a short story. The bar is a great space - the vibe of an old school refectory hall with parquet floor, mismatched furniture and flickering candles. I can people-watch the pre-theatre crowd as they tweak their beards or polish their nose rings.
Actually it's a bit more broad based than that (well, not much to be fair) but the clientele are a merry bunch, like the bar staff. A simple menu of rustic burgers (beef/jerk chicken/ pan fried humus or some shit like that) and sharing plates tempt the hungry writer... The plays my hipster friends are here to see however, all seem to be absolute leftie bollox - unchallenged, lazy victimhood-claiming rants spewed out to an unthinking Guardian reading audience. Perhaps I should go along! Or put my nob in a blender. Choices. Choices.
Amusingly, the beard who's sharing my table with his - not unattractive - date, is seriously over-reaching. He's wanking on about some Time-Out review of tonight's opus about whales (called Wails). Aside - I wonder if I could get a whale steak here? Probably not. Anyway - he's earnest in his denunciation of those global capitalistic, UKIP supporting whalers who are triggering the safe spaces of tuna or bearded twats or something. Blah Blah Blah. Probably Donald Trump's fault. Anyway, this seems to be working with his date who's nodding her head at his sage bon mots. Maybe I should update my routine, no?
Anyway - the wail of the curtain going up has moved my good friends from the table and I'm now alone penning sundry character assassinations. But - and this is the bit I want to leave you with - you can never close off a place, or shut out people just because you don't agree with them. I laugh at them and poke fun at them in a public forum because I live in land where to do so is part of our culture and I'm free to do so. And hideous lefties that they undoubtably are, what I share with them is SO much more than what I disagree with them about.
Everything is permitted in the UK unless banned. Other cultures and countries give you licence to do certain things. Think about it. There's a world of difference.
But I'm happy to be here in the lovely confines of Battersea Arts Centre and I'm glad even the lefties will have a good night with their righteousness to keep them warm. I think my earnest friend may well have something else to keep him warm!