Sunday, 18 October 2009

The Gods Come A-Knocking

Cousin Ben came down to London yesterday. He and Amazon-Rainforest went ice-skating at Queensway then they came over to my place to stay the night. We did a Sainsbury’s swoop to stock up on organic fruit and veg for the Champion juicer.

Amazon-Rainforest is a dainty, elfin child. She reminds me very much of Gaby. My cousin Gaby was something like an angel in this world. I will always miss her.

This morning Ben and A-R went out shopping, leaving me to slumber on. I’ve been up for a full ten minutes when they return at one o’clock in the afternoon. I had the foresight to splash cold water on my face and wrists so I appear fully alert. We head off down to Makan for some tasty Malaysian curry.

Amazon-Rainforest spies a gigantic doll looming up behind a graffiti-bedecked hoarding under the Westway. It turns out that there is an art ‘event’ in full swing. It’s the kind of DIY punk happening that I love. MuTATE Britain is a raggedy collection of what is now known as street art. There are lots of post Banksy stencil pieces. I’m most impressed by the bizarre menagerie of back-to-the-future looking junkyard creatures. These are the works of several different artists, all of whom are handy with a welding torch. There are gigantic vehicles with beastly characteristics: horns, hooves and enormous iron jawbones. There are pole-dancing, amphibious, merman-woman robots. There are exquisite little polished steel dentists-drill-dinasours. I’m quite taken by a gold chandelier adorned with scimitars, pigs and machine guns.

An amiable man attends a rail of clothes, somewhat grandly called Brag boutique. Amongst his gold tiger-face sweatshirts and similar hip street attire I find a highly Chemo Chic item. It’s a jersey all-in-one hood and scarf, one might call it a cowl, in a fetching skull print.

We are replete with curry and culture. It’s time to take Amazon-Rainforest home. A-R and her mum, Sayeeda, spend half their lives in Goa. Right now they are staying with Sayeeda’s parents in Mill Hill. We zoom up the A1. Ben decants the now flaked out Amazon-Rainforest from the car and carries her to their front door whilst I fully recline my seat and settle down for a sixty second power-nap.

Sixty-one seconds later there is an insistent rapping on the window. It’s Nana, Sayeeda’s mum. “Lily,” she says, “it is Diwali. You must come in and have some vegetarian food.” “Oh, Nana,” I protest, “we just ate lunch.” “That doesn’t matter. It is our tradition. If anyone comes to the door, they are like gods. You must come and eat,” she insists. I must say this is probably the most ego-boosting invitation I’ve ever had. In my new magnanimous god-persona I deign to glide indoors to eat some of Nana’s sublime home cooking.