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Walking to the Memorial

I went out earlier yesterday into town, before the memorial service. It had a magic of it's own. First thing that happened was that I met an old Spanish lady on the road, confused and upset because the bus stop was closed. I walked her to the next stop, got on with her and she talked a while. She smelled of Chanel No.5, and I suddenly felt pangs for my own Mum.

Got into town, and promptly lost myself in trying to avoid that wretched muckabout near Tottenham Court Road. Walked down an alleyway completely unknown to me, and found a glorious sculpture of a woman made of pinned stars, with dragonfly wings. It seemed to me she must be Nuit, but a little investigation revealed her to be Selene.

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Wandering on, I suddenly felt a stomach cramp, and fled into a random pub, asking to use their loos. It was the Argyll Arms, a good looking pub. I left the bathroom to find myself facing a picture of George Orwell, who used to hang out there (In the pub I mean, not stairs watching the ladies' toilets!) Orwell and Selene...clearly I was in excellent astral company.

Then I tried on some perfumes in the department stores as I used to do, only to find that they smelled terrible and I couldn't get rid of them. The worst was this delicate flowery Annick Goutal thing, that turned to a wet mushroom pong the moment it touched my skin. At least one person at the memorial looked somewhat puzzled at the nasal assault I brought with me, but we all quickly got drunk enough to forget it. I hope.

Photos of Steve were everywhere. His Mum and her partner turned up, and she was beaming - I think she was touched that so many people liked him, loved him. Speaking of love, my goodness he enjoyed the company of intelligent, pretty women! And there they were...the Goldilocks love from the old days, the exquisite dancing firebrand, the gorgeous vision of European chic... Ironically, Steve had no long term romantic relationships as such, though I suspect he strongly wished. He would talk about sexual matters freely, but physically was a very shy man, and his true comfort was in the exchange of ideas.

And we all drank and talked. At one moment, a distinguished tall gent joined us, swathed in hat, scarves, goggles and several additional layers. My first thought was that it was him, that we had been right all along and it was a prank, but no, it was an actor friend. And the night went on. I couldn't cry, haven't really been able to cry all along. I will not be in London for the funeral.

Came home drunk and had strange dreams about Hillworth Park, close to where I lived in Devizes. There was something about a medical demonstration to do with lungs, and a LARP game with Tansy and Simon. There was a huge lake, water rushing over shallow stones towards it, but where from? Or maybe it was a tidal lake, but the way the water ran didn't make sense to me. larians was there, while the group tried to play the game and I looked for an old oak tree I loved as a child. Kept running up to the wrong trees, trying to identify it. In the end, I found it. Now it goes here, in case I ever leave as quickly as Steve, and lack time to visit again.

the oak

I hope he's found it, wherever and whatever his equivalent would be.

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