Saturday, July 15, 2006

Year of the Dog

Platform for art
Tubed into Covent Garden this morning to rendezvous with Nick & Matt from down-under at Monmouth Coffee Company. Bondi hadn't seen Nick since leaving Oz and gave a very licky greeting. I haven't seen Nick in as long, but managed to keep the moistness level under control.

After 90 minutes of idle caffeinated chit-chat, Nick took Matt off to the Tower of London, and Bondi & I set off for Foyle's bookshop (where Bondi's always very welcome). I picked up some walking guides for Hadrian's Wall Path and The Capital Ring. The latter is a loop of inner London, but at 78mi/125km only slightly shorter than the former's crossing of the country. There's another path known as The London Loop, which runs closer to the M25, and is about 100km longer.

We ambled down Old Compton Street, then through Kingly Court into Carnaby Street. I ogled the digital piano in the Casio store again, grabbed a box of lunch from Leon and then returned to Kingly Court for coffee and a dip into Geoff Dyer's Yoga for People Who Can't Be Bothered. A Portuguese waiter there became rather emotional about Bondi, telling me how he'd had a malamute in Lisbon, but the neighbours* had poisoned it at 9 months (apparently a common occurrence there, and sadly also in Australia). There were other moments of emotion as reaction to Bondi's calm curled presence by my chair: a young asian woman stared at him from a shop doorway, and then a brief welling of tears before she turned back to her duties; another young woman leant across my book to ask if he were my dog, and after I nodded and looked up, saw that she was standing with curled hands under her chin, like a '40s starlet or a Raphael cherub.

* Since malamutes don't bark, there is generally very little they can do to annoy neighbours. As far as their backyard activities go, I like their summation as "enthusiastic but unskilled gardeners".

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