Vicarage Grove, Camberwell
I move into an old friend's flat in Camberwell for a short while. A different part of town, a change as good a rest. I sit here writing with a third of a pint of Guiness. I'm in the Funkey Monkey. I can't keep my eyes open here, blue haze creeps out of an old man's mouith, he asks "Are you sleeping or watching the television" I think of my father, and I remember his words " I never listened to my father too Xavier, until he was gone and everything he said was right" Alcoholics Anonymous talk of doing a geographical, changing your location and routine to change your life, and I'm excited about new pictures, story pictures with rows of houses with lots of doors and lots of windows. Next day I drink treacle coffee at the Turkish cafe, having a conversation with my head, leaving childhood behind. In the grove the children make an island, here everynight to get out of their flats and stake a claim and hog the bollards. There's not much on TV. David Hockney is getting interviewed because he is anti-anti-smoking. "I smoke 10 a day, and 20 a night" he jokes but I don't find it funny.
I'm glad to get out of this flat too. The girls are fighting inside. I think of physics experiments from school, that there is more energy needed to switch on a light bulb than to run it. More effort to push the wheel from standstill than letting it roll. With pictures though, some of the best ones are when I really had to push myself in uncomfortable situations. Upstairs the two girls are still shouting, one to the other, I pick up phrases like "You're a passive aggressive" and "you need to look at yourself and your anger, you are spoling for a fight " I immerse myself in order and discipline, a steady pace to finish the work. And when I'm done everything is put back in its place in my van. I soon leave the grove for good all those other imagined dramas behind window and closed doors.