bored of excitement – the griefjunkie blog
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010 at 12:54 am | Write a comment
Autumn – the season of mists and yellow fruitiness, according to Keats – is also a time when market traders who like to get among the summer festival circuit return to pubs such as the Duke of Wellington and offer cuttings from the verdant and far reaching branches of the Casual Retail Grapevine. This way, everyone – to use the correct phrase – ‘knows a man‘, a term that made a brief popular cultural reference when uttered by Nick the Greek in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. You can’t become ‘a man‘ until your ‘handwriting is good enough‘ – ie, you have sufficient reputation to be deemed trustworthy. It’s a whole other, entirely unnecessary, language.
Anyway. The words ‘rock’ and ‘Guildford’ glide effortlessly alongside each other, and the Goat Bag Man, who is one such Camden urchin who likes a bit of swashbuckling on the high seas of casual retail, recently traded at ‘Guilfest’ among the crazy folk of Surrey. It’s a lovely festival, actually, although the last time we traded it – 2005 – Paul Weller was headlining, presumably to mark the 25th anniversary of the last time he wrote a decent tune. The Goat Bag Man was commenting on the strange phenomenon of trading next to Millet’s, who in case you are unfamiliar, are a high street outdoor clothing outlet.
‘I couldn’t believe it’ said the Goat Bag Man, in his voice which I like because it sounds exactly like Johnny Rotten’s, ‘I’d just finished setting up, when a big van appears, and before I knew where I was, a branch of Millet’s had appeared out of nowhere’.
Lewis and I, who were enjoying his tales of summer retail adventures, agreed that yes, this must have been a bit odd.
‘You haven’t heard the half of it yet’ he continued, ‘I popped my head round the door to say hello, and they’re just blacks’.
There was a slight pause while I tried to work out whether this was a racist observation, a racial observation, or just, in view of the fact that Lewis is of mixed parentage, clumsy. I drank a third of a pint of snakebite and looked at the dartboard for answers, but none were forthcoming.
‘What – all of them?’ was the only thing I could think to say as Lewis and I glanced at each other in a baffled manner. I have not the slightest idea of how the great outdoors works, and was therefore unaware that Millet’s is merely a clearing house for unwanted Black’s merchandise, Black’s being another retailer of tents and sleeping bags and I dunno rash cream or whatever. I’m sure you’ll therefore join with me in congratulating the Goat Bag Man on a successful festival season, in which he at all times managed to look at the whole of a person.
Twitter: Ho hum.
Facebook: Holding steady at 117 members. Never been higher than 118, so it’s a bit of a nail biter. I think we may have to consider that Lostland Intheworld is not in fact a real person, however, being that they only ever talk about pagan blessings and their sole interest is the Dovedale Hotel and Restaurant, Cleethorpes.
Photards: Top: Bingo, also known as Jango, who is the resident Greenwich Market dog. He was bought from some drug people in Lewisham for thirty quid, and has the most relaxed temperament of any dog I have ever met, possibly because he is off his tits. I was shouting at him in an attempt to get him to turn round for this picter, but he was concentrating on some cheese off camera.
Middle: Greenwich Market loading yard. Unconfined joy must fill those houses at the sound of traders running each other over, blocking each other in, and calling each other wankers in loud voices in the otherwise silent early hours of weekend mornings.
Lower: This inscription, taken from Proverbs 1:11, has been above the College Approach entrance since 1845, but that won’t stop Danny trying to change it to ‘Keith is a fat old bastard’ if he gets half a chance.