Stood at the balcony railings looking down into the car park below as it fills with water. Cars start to float – turning and bobbing – and some are soon in danger of capsizing. The drivers struggle pointlessly with their steering wheels. Some begin to panic behind the windscreens, silently banging on the glass and mouthing something. There is nothing that can be done for them.
Feet firmly planted on the paving either side of the bicycle, white-knuckled, I call for Olive to jump up, which she does. “Good dog!” Olive perches somehow on the saddle behind me, wraps her front legs around my neck. I feel her paws and her claws on my skin. With apprehensive scooting movements I begin to sail the bike forward, finding the balance. We lean dangerously one way and for a moment we are about to fall, but, suddenly, we are off down Whitley Road. As we pass Splinters salon, Jason R appears at our side. It is a surprise to see him. He jogs alongside us and I ask about Amsterdam and we laugh at the past.
In a market held in a tunnel I buy an unusual White Stripes album. It is on 12″ square vinyl and is called First Etches. Grooves are hand lacquered, reads the label. When I get home, Vinky W is at the door. She is waiting on the steps. She studies the vinyl and says, “This’ll last you forever.”