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Archive for February, 2013

The Unsecret Code

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Dear Rachel,

Keith’s coffee van at Greenwich Market is so small that when he’s driving it, it looks as though it’s been painted onto his jacket. If it were mine, I would save petrol by bouncing it there like a basketball. It is in fact so very miniscule that my only involvement with it on Sunday – I wasn’t trading due to a state visit to the east end – was to almost run over it as I cycled past him at Elephant and Castle, causing it to flurry about in my slipstream like a Kit Kat wrapper.

If you are unfamiliar, Elephant and Castle is a joyless mess in south London, through which I cycle often and as quickly as I can. The nicest building there is the Imperial War Museum, which housed Bedlam lunatic asylum when it left Whitechapel, and the only cheery feature are the tube station lifts, which play the same sound when the doors open as Pacman does when he eats a power pill and runs about chasing ghosts. I assume this is a deliberate feature, as Elephant and Castle is a stupidly complex maze of tunnels and subways – not unlike that which Pacman has to charge around – and the station itself is one of the most haunted places in London. If they were any more similar, your reward for clearing a screen on Pacman would be a Bakerloo Line train to Regent’s Park or Marylebone, both of which are much nicer places to be on a Sunday afternoon then Elephant and Castle.

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A Bit Of A Headache

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Dear Rachel,

I was speaking to a gynaecologist recently, and was impressed by the way she could sketch a female reproductive system without looking at the paper she was drawing on. We were talking on a non-professional basis, but she estimated that she’d drawn over eight thousand female reproductive systems in her career and, as an encore, drew another one as a single unbroken line. I suggested she arrange for cannons to go off and glitter to come down from the ceiling when she reached the ten thousandth, because something like that should be given a sense of occasion.

Market trading is more difficult to represent with diagrams, so instead I turned the paper over and drew the principal causes of the War of the Roses, as I’d been reading about them that morning. Despite the Battle of Hexham having to appear on the back of a market rent receipt placed next to the main drawing, it worked quite well, and I was struck by how weird we’d be to play Pictionary against.

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