I’m exhausted because I was woken up at two in the morning by an alarm going off. It was a particularly annoying alarm, a clanging mechanical bell like some kind of old fire station. It’s hot, so we had the window open, but it was disturbing even with the window closed. I found some earplugs and managed to resume my sleep, but the overall results were less refreshing than I had hoped.
I’ve been involved with planning Okinawa Day, which will be relatively local to me this year, in the Blue Market in Bermondsey. It will be a bit smaller than previous years, because it takes a while to recover from a two year intermission. We’ve set the date for 24 September. I hope the weather co-operates. If you’re free, pop down in the autumn and listen to me and others play and sing.
I took my first journey on Crossrail on Thursday. It’s impressive. By comparison with the Underground, the stations are cavernous, and the trains spacious. It saves us quite a bit of time on some journeys, and offers an opportunity to avoid the Central Line, which is so hot that I fully believe that they accidentally dug the tunnels too close to the roof of Hell.
I was on my way to meet up with a couple of friends, one of whom I haven’t seen in a few years. They play ukulele, so I brought mine and we played a few tunes together and chatted. They played some of the pieces with a capo, and I don’t have one, so I had to sight read the chord charts and transpose them in real time. Well, I like a challenge. It was a delightful way to spend an afternoon.
A couple of L—’s friends are over from the US, and we met them and their two children on Saturday. We visited the local farm, stopped for some cake in the garden, and took a trip to the Maltby Street market, which was operating as the Cleaner Air Market over the weekend.
On the way there, we passed an exploding water main on Jamaica Street. A torrent of water was jetting into the air to a height of about three storeys. It might have been quite pleasant on such a hot day, if we hadn’t been stuck inside the bus.
There was a stall at the market operated by Redefine Meat, who were selling their 3D-printed vegan meat analogue. I was aware of their product, but it isn’t normally available outside one expensive restaurant, and this was the first time I had encountered it in the, er, not-flesh. Their decision to sell an open sandwich was ill advised for a market where there aren’t enough places to sit down to eat, but the steak was very, very similar to actual meat, with what seemed like muscle fibres and fat and everything else you’d expect from an actual dead animal.
On Sunday, we visited another couple of friends and their two children for a delicious lunch and a chat. It was perfect weather, so we cycled (half an hour versus nearly one hour by public transport) and L— tried out the bike I built her on a proper journey. It passed the test, to my relief.