What is this? It is cash only, “no cards, only cash,” and it is the faded splendor of the Hotel Atlantic (Kempinski) and the old girl is having a facelift. Beneath the marble title is a facsimile of marble. I suppose it’s progress. We walk and nearly get side-swiped at every road crossing by bicycles and there are maybe one, two beers on tap. It’s the Reeperbahn, served by a surly hipster, and then the u-bahn and maybe a bahn mi and I feel like I’m in my very own bain marie. I’m tired and I should be asleep. A ham berk taking pictures of cars and losing precious moments.
And Sweden, it’s pine and it’s blonde and its expensive and there are rules and it is very hard to buy a bottle of beer to drink in the hotel and
So, cheese. Cheddar I find is too sharp for breakfast and does not play nicely with the other, softer flavours. It’s a bully of a cheese and now ubiquitous in UK supermarkets. But could that be about to change? Stay tuned for more scintillating updates on cheese.
Is this the middle way, then, bleary eyes, and a hangover that won’t quit? I search for something in your eyes that might equate to sparkling passion but all I find is a direct debit chit and a parking receipt to a National Trust car park. I wonder who I am – am I a John Raymond Baxbury stumbling to a spiritual death, a Chaucerian character caught in some animal facsimile, a greying fox hunting around bin bags and slipping on bin juice on a Sunday morning, my head hitting the wall with the death dull thump of a rotten apple? ‘Life’s what you make it,’ goes the song. But the middle way has its onerous burdens beyond the pop song.
There’s that fearlessness, and it is to do with the invention on the fly, the trammelled ways have not yet been put in place. It can be gauche or breathtaking in equal measure and it is art’s taking your first unaided steps, the tottering around. Is it because it is unbounded by expectations: I think so. There’s a freedom of limb, of mind, of voice that rarely returns. After this the world of people wanting something like this, or something like that, and you can’t catch this quicksilver again. It’s like bottling magic, impossible, that swagger that comes from looking at the task with the calm eyes of
But then they take it away
And it will never return?