So the coffee house walk is going okay. Children have stopped avoiding me in the street so the bleeding must have stopped. Now all I have is a frozen nose and sniffle – a natural hazard of being alive this time of year.
I’m now consuming a sort of ‘Christmas sandwich’ at a chain coffee shop. Now I appreciate the seat, like the cleanliness, and need the power plug to keep my laptop alive but the sandwich is just so-so. Full of walnuts or something it has turkey and cranberry sauce with some lettuce. Christmas what????
So what does ‘Christmas’ mean? Other than the religious and commercial cash-in, is this worthwhile? Banksy just unveiled a statue of a pixelated priest to remind us of the true meaning of Christianity – lies, corruption and abuse apparently. No-one I pass seems especially happy right now although the music makes us jive while we fight for the toilet cubicles (I’m perched right outside the door to one in this restaurant). No-one smiles but that could just be the weather!
My walk has taken me from the gutter areas south of the river today back past the altars of commerce and into the richest shops in London. Along the way I have past the beggars and street vendors, ogled the wonderful Bentleys and Mercs and Beemers, seen the Big Issue sellers and brushed past the tourists. It is no wonder that Monopoly’s top estate is Pall Mall because that was the road I just walked up. Rudeness and wealth are juxtaposition and the rule of life seems to be just feral. Hustle, grift, work and we’ll let you live another year. Christmas be damned, it seems. TS Eliot, where are you?