the last of the few marched from the birdtable via redan hill and sebastopol road to the east bank aldershot with a pint of bull’s blood from the crimea fresh in our throats. to stand in a february fog in tailored red coats with brass buttons, led by a drummer boy who took the king’s shilling out the back of the bus station in ’82 and has never looked back. suedeheads and old songs. a richardson linocut come to life entitled, ‘everywhere we go, people always ask’.
the five fifteen out of waterloo took us there out along the thames past bob’s catfish swim at battersea power station, along the side of the pike cut at staines to the basingstoke canal at brookwood and the pits at ash vale, stopping just short of badshot lea pits where i hooked my first ever pike by the caravans. a night time tour of the paid up permitted waters that i have failed to fish for a full calendar year. all too soon. rather than the empty bank and the lonely moon i needed the camaraderie of the crowd, old familiar schoolyard faces and the blinding white light of the floodlights. a glimpse of heaven. just enough to know that it might exist.
last train out of here on the birdtable