It really couldn't have been more exciting. Large crowds, leather jackets, hot-dogs, a beer tent, arabic pop music blasting from smoke filled tents, Rastafarians, flourescent pink hair bands, candy floss, whining kids, drunk dads, sour faced mums, stalled pensionners. All there, all without a penny to spare, all looking at an inflatable paddling pool full of small battery powered puppies. Camberwell Sunday Market – Welcome

  “Oh, I want one!” I cried, pulling Verity by the hand through the crowds. “That one there. Tipped over and going nowhere with its nose on the floor and its arse in the air. Wrap it!”
The overweight vendor picked up the overturned mechanical puppy, dumped it in a bag and shoved it under my arm.
  “£5. No lifetime guarantee. Cheers!”
As I left beaming with one of what everyone else could only look at, the crowd muttered a few bitter words and gave me a collective look of disgust.

  “Don't mind them, they're poor,” said Verity
  “So am I!” I replied
  “Yes, but they're not stupid!” she laughed. Then I laughed, and for a moment the old world was back and it was just me and a friend strolling around on a Sunday morning with autumn coming in from a distance.

  “He's getting worse you know,” I told Verity “unpredictable and God knows how far he'll go to make a point or hurt me. It's like he only opens his eyes each morning to carry out some nasty plan or annoy me with his presence. Of course, he doesn't annoy me with his presence, but tries, you know...”
  “Aww, Triste, Gosh. I don't know what to say. He was pretty off the other day, hardly even a hello. Do you think he should be out?”
  “Oh, he's not crazy... well, not 'crazy' crazy. He's insane with bitterness and constantly shows it. His insanity is a message. When he's out talking to Brian he's John, I mean it's weird. Sometimes I sit looking at him and I'm crying inside... God, I'll end up with water retention like my bloody mother. Oh, but it's sad.... and hard. Very hard. Because you know, if he'd just give me a sign, even now, I'd still give him the world... I am still Waiting for John.”

Verity held me. She was soft and comfortable and warm like maybe a mother should feel. I smelt the day in her clothes and I don't think I will ever forget that smell. It was like breathing in memories.

I remained for a while like that, my eyes covered and my face warm. I imagined Verity cradling me as she sadly watched the market crowds. It felt like nothing real existed, that when I raised my head the world would somehow be different. But Verity's hand in my hair, the soothing strokes she gave it, somehow said that things were only ever going to get worse... and everybody knew it.


  1. Face facts:

    John is NOT one of Barbara Cartland's dashing Historical Rogues.

    He is a violent lying adultering layabout with a chip on his shoulder and he smokes.

    He is no great prize.

    The John you are waiting for exists only in your head.

    I've BEEN THERE, as you young uneducated louts say today.

    But you can use these hopeless fantasies for fun and profit, as Barbara did: write a novel.

    Babs used to recline on a chaise lounge dictating her masterpieces (producing one every 2 weeks as you know), a poodle in her lap and a monocled lesbian secretary on a hard seat by her side taking it all down by hand.

    Substitute Marlowe for the poodle and Verity for the dictation dyke and Bob's your uncle.

    And don't forget, Babs always wore the same lucky shocking pink dress during work hours...

  2. John not being one of BC's dashing historical rogues... maybe you're right again. But he is dashing and a rogue.

    No great prize? How many other wheelchair bound sadists (apart from your lot) are there in this world? Oh, he's quite a catch. When you dredge someone like John up from the river bed you don't throw him back - dead or alive. No, my minds made up he's the devil gone bad, but there's hope... there's always hope.

    "a monocled lesbian secretary on a hard seat by her side taking it all down by hand."

    Are you insinating that BC never actually wrote any of her 700+ chef d'oeuvres herself? I mean, we could all dictate a book a fortnight if someone else was hammering it out, rearranging and rewriting it! That's the hardest part. Hmmm, like future french literary theorists, I may also have to re-evaluate this Cartland woman. If nothing else it'll be a good excuse to go back through her entire catalogue... again. X

  3. Well of course Barbabra never wrote all that crap!

    She had balls to attend and suitors to torture.
    (Or vice versa knowing Babs!)

    She lay on a couch for half an hour a fortnight sipping wine and sucking Rum Truffles, spewing out a basic outline. Then let the publishers get on with it.

    But those future French literary theorists will still shower her with gold as surely as a five year old's school drawing will one day win the Turner Prize.

    As I said: she was the most underrated writer of her generation - way ahead of her time.

    Warhol worshipped at her stilettoed feet - where do you think he got the idea of getting the staff to do all the silk screens and just signing them himself?

    It is so...empowering the way ladies of a certain age and hair colour are underestimated.

    All eyes are on sharp-suited shifty-eyed conmen.


  4. @ Stacy: I think I need it. X

    @ Abigail: Something you said reminds me of something another one of your flock once said. Derek Trotter: I bet you've held a few balls in here, Madam.

    Warhol and BC, wasn't theretalk that they were one and the same person? At the time of his death he certainly looked like her. Some people say that I look like Warhol. I wonder if they mean Barbara Cartland??? I hope so.

    Meanwhile. Indeed...


  5. That's what I meant when I said I'd wait for Jim instead of John. Jim worked for Andy Warhol. I knew there was a connection!

  6. Also I'm pretty sure I know you are my ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo and I love you so.

  7. Drivel. I thought I knew something once, but luckily someone killed me.


Tristram's Birthday: Sunday 3rd October

Tristram's Birthday: Sunday 3rd October
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Trolley Dash August 2010

Trolley Dash August 2010
Did Tristram accidently pick up a REAL bargain?

Brian the Postboy's gift to John: an ankle bracelet inscribed 'Super Dong'

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Scrap metal or has John been 'tagged'. Is Tristram Spencer really the only fated man in town?

The Dangerous Dandy by Barbara Cartland

The Dangerous Dandy by Barbara Cartland
Will Tristram finally be brought to account for his love of Babs? And: is 25 years hard labour enough?

An Influx of Pigeons

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Is there still some hope for the fated Mr Spencer?
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