there are memories of west london you can use in the new book & memories you can’t
It’s been raining in a steady, thoughtful way for about twenty four hours. There’s a pair of Converse in the paved area outside the kitchen door, not far from the bleaching wicker chair. They’re black. They’re well-used. They’re mine. One of them has tipped over on its side. It’s leaning on the other, while the other leans away from it in an appalled fashion. I can’t remember how they got there, although I do remember it was dark, also shouting, “And don’t come back.” Whatever our quarrel it’s forgotten, but they’re so wet now there doesn’t seem to be much point in fetching them in. Nothing looks shabbier than a pair of wet Converse. A bleaching wicker chair, propped up at one corner by two bricks, is one thing–it can look quite deliberate, quite arranged, cottagey if you like: but discarded shoes are quite another. You could’t pass those off at the Chelsea Flower Show as an eye-catching feature of the urban garden. Or maybe you could. Anyway, it’s an ASBO in Barnes, quick as you like. Wet Converse, for some reason, make me think of Andy Murray. To me he’s always looked as if he should be wearing long shorts & oversize unlaced baseball boots, in a three-frame comic or soft-drink advert from the late 80s. He has a puzzled look. Speaking of Barnes & tennis, I once saw Tim Henman in Sonny’s, just after his career was over.