Back in London

Published by Rick on Tagged Uncategorized

             I’m back in UK after two weeks away, and though it’s not snowing, it still feels really cold here, even with clear skies. In San Francisco, they had the winter weather that they have every couple of years, that being rain every day for over a week and whatever drought California is having gets a reprieve. The weather forced me to cancel my drive to LA, since the main arterial road was shut at higher elevations. 

               Not going to LA meant more time I could spend with my ailing dad. He’s been in VA hospital since 2006 after suffering a stroke, and being a wounded war veteran, his hospitalization is paid for by the government. That’s the good news. The bad news, at least for him, is that with the daily treatment he gets, he’s healthier than he was before going in, meaning more years of feeling helpless and self-pitying since my mom died in 2005. Comedian Jackson Perdue had a great line years ago when he said “we’ve all met a racist in our time, and we all know them by the same name: DAD!” I can sure relate to that. Since nearly the entire hospital staff is of some non-white ancestry, my dad can easily piss off any of the nurses, but he’s mostly being that way out of boredom and knowing they must treat him, no matter how big of a racist asshole they may think he is.

                My flight back was very easy-peasy. It wasn’t full, though they sat me in a two-seat section with another single passenger. The flight left early, and as soon as we reached our cruising altitude, and were allowed to leave our seats, I moved to a four seat section that only had one person on the other end. He wasn’t too happy about that, as he wanted to claim the whole section for himself and sleep lengthwise. Well, tough shit buddy! I fall asleep in my chair, maybe not for any long periods, but I could do that on a full flight. He wound up not sleeping, but except for little five minute doze-offs, I didn’t either. At least the flight arrived a half-hour early, so I had some time to take a two-hour nap before starting the big chore of trying to pack about 15,000 records.

                   My records are a lifelong obsession, but it’s a bitch having to move them. I try not to move too often, but with the ex sending me out of her secure but unhappy environment last year, I’m back to the world of renting, and dealing with whatever whims the home owner may have. My landlady is taking over my flat, but I lucked into a new place in my old stomping grounds of Dagenham, taking over a 3-bedroom house owned by one of my ex’s best friends, and for less rent than I’m paying on a 2-bed in London. That’s the good news I suppose, though it’s doubtful I’ll be able to stay more than a year at that place. Finding boxes has been a problem so far, getting only 12 when I need about 40.

                    I only have help for today and tomorrow, and I’ve promised to be out by Monday the 1st. Aside from the lack of success finding things to pack my records in, I’ve also gotten a scare in driving around last night. My car’s brakes would make that metal on metal sound usually only when the engine was cold, but last night, they were doing it full time, so maybe what I save in rent will be used to pay for a brake job, oh joy. If you think car repair charges are astronomical in the US, take whatever dollar amount you pay, put that same number into pounds, and you got auto repair UK-style. 

                   The one thing that will help pay for the car’s seemingly unavoidable repair is the fact that I have gigs Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Again it’s good news/bad news. The weekend gigs are in Preston, about 250 miles from London, so I’m taking the train up there, with no further wear and tear on the car. Still, that cuts out two crucial days of moving, and the anxieties over the limited time span, along with the jet lag, and now the potential car problems, are the main reasons I woke up at 3 AM and didn’t get back to sleep. So I’d best call it a morning, and get on with it. 

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.