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Archive for January, 2014

The Circle Of Life

Friday, January 31st, 2014

Dear Rachel,

Danny is a man of many talents, which he modestly keeps hidden behind several thousand catastrophic faults. For all of these – and I could reel off seventy three major ones without pausing for breath – he is an engaging and excellent man. I consider his repeated claim that I am his ‘brother from another mother’ to be a huge compliment, and while I’m not sure how enthusiastically either of our actual mothers would embrace the implications of this, we certainly have many things in common.

While a verifiable genetic link between us seems unlikely, I also appreciate his assertions, via the early Public Enemy back catalogue, that we are a) brothers of the same mind, unblind and b) caught in the middle and not surrendering. In fact, there is almost no early hip hop rhyming couplet that Danny won’t bring to bear in order to rally us during low points, and I consider this, along with his sullen dog Marshall, to be his best feature.

Imagine, then, my dismay when he informed me that he was chucking in market life and going to work in a call centre. I was poorly at the time and engrossed in an antique jigsaw puzzle. Aghast and full of Lemsip, some of which I had spluttered into my phone as he told me the news, the best I could utter in response was a horrified ‘What would Flava Flav say?’ It was quite a moment.

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The Man From Stonebridge Park

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Dear Rachel

‘Smokey Bacon’ is an ex-arsonist of my vague acquaintance who lives in a presumably fireproof box room on the Holloway Road. It’s an accurate nickname, as the first part refers to his former pastime and the second to his surname: Hogg. I bumped into Smokey recently near Archway tube, where he described his post-arson life as bouncing from project to project ‘like a shark’, presumably on account of always being on the move. I’m not sure that the thing about sharks having to be constantly mobile is actually true, but I pointed out that he must truly have changed his ways, as a shark would make a terrible arsonist, what with trying to get a decent blaze going under water and all the problems it would have with trying to hold a lighter properly.

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A Table By The Orchestra

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Dear Rachel

An unexpected feature of Christmas trading was the amount of naked photographs of myself I was asked to sign in the grisly aftermath of the Greenwich Market Boys charity calendar, which I think we’ve discussed before. Usually, I apologised for the poor quality of the other models, who have reduced the thing to the status of a Victorian freak show, with the exception of Danny, whose picture has rather amusingly seen his fan base shift from badly tattooed forty year old Lewisham based grandmothers to physically impressive and sexually terrifying European homosexuals. My old dear, who is neither of those things, commented that he looked like ‘a dark Tom Jones’, which I’m not sure is a thing you can really say anymore. This was in November, and I replied that if I found myself calling him Dad over Christmas dinner I would disown my entire family.

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