Portobello Road,W11.


I am glad to report that I have not been killed off by Facebook, unlike two million others.

An eventful weekend but a day of rest beckons.  On Friday night a trip to an Italian restaurant for Jane’s leaving do.  Jane has retired and she was surprised to see not just her colleagues from East Sussex there, but also people from Hastings Borough Council and some of the legendary Greenwich Girlies.  Jane left a few weeks ago, around the same time as one our colleagues was off work following surgery.  I got muddled up with what I’d done and not done and a week or so after her leaving she returned with her leaving card and slapped it in front of me because I’d not signed it.

Last week I saw Debbie and her partner Steve.  Debbie and I worked together at a day centre in the Royal Borough in the late 90s.  Yesterday I parked up near Norwood Junction, close to one of the finest football grounds in the world and got the train and underground to Nottin Hill Gate where I met up with John, who I also worked with at SCOPE (don’t ask me what it stands for!).  John was my manager and soon left for fresh challenges but a shared interest in football and  politics amongst other things kept us in touch.  The photo at the top of the picture is a shot of Portobello Road, looking northwards from south of the Earl of Lonsdale.  We journeyed northwards, had a fine Morrocan meal in Golborne Road and discovered they still sell trenchcoats by Westway, just like they did 30 or so years ago when I used to buy one every so often.


That’s John to the bottom left.


And now dead centre studying the menu.

We then journeyed towards our old workplace.


It’s just as well I left my car in south London, my plan to park in the reserved spaces for workers would have been foiled.  We then revisited the London Lighthouse.  Except it wasn’t there.  Well the building was but it was now a musuem.


We enjoyed a coffee and cake in the still fine cafe and the garden is still maintained by the same gardener who has been there from the beginning.


The Lighthouse was originally set up by the Terence Higgins Trust to provide support to people who were in need of respite and terminal care who were affected by the HIV virus.  The full story is here;


Going home was via a Rail Replacement Bus as the Metropolitan Line was closed.  The driver wasn’t bothered about whether we paid or not so we didn’t.  A long day but lovely to see John and catch up about the world.

Earlier in the week I was giving a client a lift to Hastings and I treated him to a playing of Neil Young’s Zuma LP from the mid 70s.  Noticing his head bopping about I marvelled at the wonderful musical education his parents must have given him.  Until I saw his ears were connected to an earpiece and he was listening to his own music.  That’s Autism for you.

The big news of the week is the victory of Donald Trump.  The failure of Hilary Clinton is another indicator that the ‘Third Way’ championed by her husband Bill and our very own Tony Blair is dead in the water.  We just have to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and continue to fight for what we believe in.  Which is a world where we don’t blame minorities and tackle the real cause of poverty and injustice.

I want to close by sharing with you a clip of a lovely cover of a great song by Future Islands.  This version is by Slow Club and comes from their LP out last year.









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