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London Bridge
Its her first night selling tequila - £4 a shot which she waters down with lime juice. From the corner of my eye I see Johnny being escorted off the premises. I carry on talking, and then back to talking some more. The next night Tequila girl rings me up, and we arrange to meet. She is a model and make-up girl. She is a Kiwi and has a Maori tattoo across her back. She loves shell fish and dances to R and B. Her ex, an international male super model in Germany, so she says. Our conversations are about our lives - failures, frustrations and hopes, as we sit on her balcony in London Bridge. Its a good view though the one at the back of the flat is better. A week later I'm back in her building in the communal corridor. She lives with two other New Zealand Tequila girls. Tai wants to be an actress in real life and Kat's boyfriend is taking her to St. Tropez. The original Tequila girl is on the phone most of the time to Germany. Her boyfriend is finishing the relationship, she is hysterical and wants her money back. The other two are consoling her with wine and fags. I stay out of the way. Its one of the biggest paintings that I've done on site to date so I am quite happy to stay out in the corridor for about 4 nights, while the commotion is going on inside. I wrap up warm and get on with the job in hand. I meet the other neighboughs. Steve is at number 14. He is a road sweeper by day while his wife sells pie and mash with jellied eels. They have three children who they love very much. They are very happy that I am painting their view, the kids' bikes and their door. The eldest son wants to be an artist and shows me his Spider Man cartoons. There is Guys hospital in the background from where their daughter has just come out, they explain that their flat is damp and that's why she lost one of her kidneys. Nothing really makes sense at the moment except the love that this family has. Desire and possessions mean nothing when there is so much talk about war. The graffiti says it all,   'NO WAR, NO GREED' Steve's family like that. I say goodbye to the Tequila girls and blast off into the night.