The Tour De France in London

I have a new job in the West End, which means I’m great, but also means no more walking through Whitechappel on the way to work. Not that Oxford Circus is anything to rave about but it beats running the gauntlet of Brick Lane at 8.30 every morning.

I don’t know why everyone goes on about it so much, I used to dread those slightly peaky mornings after a bit of a bender, the pavements smeared with the debris of stinking fast food and puddles of gob. Mmm, piles of human phlegm flopping around like uncooked omelette, some of it even spilling out of overflowing wheelie bins. grotesque.

It’s not as if it’s got any particular charm about either, just moody blokes in bad clothes pestering bored tourists into distinctly average restaurants. Apart from that boozer up the side street near where the Seven Stars used to be, it’s a shithole and won’t be missed.

On a more positive note, The B52s. Highly underrated, especially a track called Roam which I think is better than Love Shack, but Mand doesn’t agree. Also, I listened to The Police this evening for the first time in what must be twenty years, and strangely remembered all the words to Everything She Does Is Magic, a fantastic track.

Without meaning to be all nostalgic I recorded it off the old mans vinyl onto a grey TDK C60, I used to listen to it under the covers at night on a pair of massive white ear phones with a curly lead. The steel drums brought it all back, the soundtrack to Industrial unrest, Pershing Missiles and Insignia deodorant.

Great days. It only started to go wrong when I began watching the Nine O’clock news whilst listening to Dark Side Of The Moon on earphones. Then as if from nowhere we discovered the Tour De France on Channel 4, saved if you like, a welcome respite from apartied, Thatcher and the Soviet Union. The Tour has remained a little bit special to me since then – Hainault , Lemond, Roche and the sheer bloody romance of it all.

On Saturday The Tour De France starts in London, and with near on a million people due to turn up, hopefully it’ll be one big European celebration in the worlds best city.

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