As the year nears an end, I am without a massive amount of gigs in the diary. This is partly because I didn’t know exactly where I’d be located come the end of the year, but mostly because of that pesky thing called admin.
Last weekend, I was back in London for a couple of nights. A mate from school had managed to get a ticket for the rugby match at Twickenham.
Twickenham is in south-west London, so I made the sensible choice to book a hotel in north-east London.
This choice was of course for Walthamstow purposes. And I really miss the place. It was my home for six years, making it the second longest I have lived anywhere apart from where I grew up, which is still in the lead by at around 23 years in total.
Although Walthamstow has changed a lot since I first moved there nine years ago, it largely retains its charm. And it is as a rare part of London that feels like a community where people actually speak to each other.
On my way back from a doing spot at a poorly attended open mic in Finsbury Park, I headed for a pint at quite possibly my favourite pub in the world, Ye Olde Rose and Crown. It was where I used to run a monthly gig, where I could drink a few pints with friends until late, enjoy the live band, and then stumble home afterwards. Running my own gigs is one of the biggest things I have missed since I moved away.
My trip wasn’t all rosy nostalgia. Something else happened that brought everything into stark contrast. I was unable to get on several consecutive tube trains, only to eventually cram on and be surrounded by dozens of people in a confined, sweaty carriage. And thus my decision to move away was entirely justified.
But then Brexit and Trump both happened after I moved away, so maybe people should be persuading me to move back in the hope of preventing further disasters. The world could depend on me braving sweaty tube carriages every morning.