Kilburn and Kensal Rise
Spa emerges black hooded, carrying the pink FT. An English spring morning with promise, from the cosy back kitchen with superb view of London from Honeybourne Road. Within two weeks I moved to Christchurch Road, Kilburn. The Welshman talked in a phoney transatlantic accent as only the Welsh can do. I was shocked by the half dozen carving knifes and a meat axe, and the daily blood red carve-up he relished. Occasional visits from voluminous American students. I met this lot in “77” on Mill Lane. I commuted daily to Penge via Victoria or Farringdon reading the FT in a café on Cowcross Lane. Paul from Bromley, when I asked why there were no black faces answered “We don’t!”. Penge, five pet shops, and home of the world ballroom champions. I returned via Penge West in trains without corridors, then moved to Kensal Green and nightly the delivery business my then girlfriend ran, took me from Muswell Hill to Chelsea, New Malden to Marlborough, in an old BMW. Weekends were spent at a grand old villa in Ipswich. I visited Agricento, Catania and Syracuse and islands north of Sicily that early summer. On return I became ill. My father, understood healing and drove me to Corbridge on a beautiful summer’s day. A Tornado aircraft passed below us over Otterburn. I moved into Narcissus Road in West Hampstead and left my then girlfriend. I was still flying up to Dyce ands going off on trips to the west coast of Scotland. Later that year I worked in Croydon and Sutton on the Eurotunnel project. Everything was European now. Whilst farmers still pointed at aircraft in Norfolk, I’d been to 30 airports on hundreds of flights. And then I remember when I was eight my mother having to get off the 16 at Pelaw and walking home in the sun to Primrose, Jarrow in 1963.