Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coffee mornings

My favourite time of day in Soho is early morning. At around eight or eight thirty Brewer Street is still quiet and before the intrusions of modern life flood into these narrow streets, turning the area into a jabbering media nerve centre, it’s easy to imagine Soho as it once was when the smog of industry loomed umbrella like over the skyline, brewery draymen did their rounds replenishing the public houses by horse and cart...and my daydream is rudely interrupted by my friend’s hand thrust out to greet me. Still with a firm grip of my hand he takes a seat opposite. We often meet in this Italian cafĂ© before work to catch up over a coffee or two. Mostly we talk shop and bounce random ideas off each other. Not much ever comes of them, but if you ever see a range of t-shirts in the shops called Divorcetees, with slogans like ‘Our kids like me more than you.’ and ‘You’re dependent on my child support, you whore.’ then now you know where they were conceived. But this morning we’re not talking stupid t-shirts, we’re talking about another mate of mine who works in Singapore. He was in town at the weekend and I met up with him in a pub in Kensington. During the course of the afternoon, my friend told me if ever I fancied a change of scene he could probably wangle me some work in Singapore. Great, as a freelancer, it’s always good to know these things. So this morning in the coffee shop I’m relaying all this to my friend about how if work starts to slow down in London I could always give Singapore a shot, and I notice he’s looking at me a bit strangely. So I ask him what’s up and he says, “Can you go to Singapore? Haven’t you got to have another operation?” Oh. That. I’d totally forgotten the small matter of my health. My friend has a point, until some sort of decision is reached on what the next step is with my colostomy reversal, I can’t very well go swanning off. That’s okay though. I’m not in any hurry to leave London. For the time being I’m happy to enjoy a few more early morning coffees in Soho. And reflect on the fact that occasionally I feel so well that I forget all about UC, hospitals and my colostomy bag and it actually takes a friend to remind me.