I'm in my room listening to music. Pretty standard stuff huh?
So far I've listened to what I think is Club Anthems Volume Cochlea Defamation. I'm not listening to my music you see. I'm listening to my neighbour's music. Periodically I have to shuffle my bed back to the wall it originated at, as the vibrations from what I can only assume is 'Usher' are making it want to emigrate. This is what I get for living on a street almost entirely populated by students. Yes, I'm aware I've only been a non-student for 18 months but I'm a fast learner. Plus, I listen to a lot of John Denver and, apart from 'Take Me Home Country Road' it's not really designed for playing at drum shattering volumes.
I live on the Old Kent Road in South London. It's a pretty interesting place. I grew up in the West Country which is famed for its rolling hills, ridiculous accents, and a lower ethnic population than the KKK. It means that living in London is quite a learning curve - I'm not sure many people in their early twenties had to work out if they were racist or not. Thankfully it turned out I wasn't so I'm OK to live here. Phew. I might be the only person on my road who keeps a spreadsheet of acceptable slang for each denomination. The 'No' column has so far been largely trial and error but I'm getting there. Painfully.
There've been other hurdles to overcome since the transition to the big city. I pretty swiftly had to drop my accent. This culminated in a confusing month for all involved where it appeared I had come out the other end as an Aussie. Once I'd tired of explaining to people I'd picked up the accent on my non-existent gap year, I listened to a lot of old BBC podcasts (or, recordings as they used to be known) and came out with a beautiful tone that goes well with a pony. I am well spoken. It means I can hang on to the illusion that what I'm saying is important for just a little bit longer. Tricksy. I bought a gilet over the Christmas holidays. It's a soft 'G' apparently. I revert to the Aussie when I'm wearing that so as not to confuse people into thinking my name's Harriet and I'm just back from St Andrew's for the holidays. I tell you what, I certainly give common Kate a run for her money in my gilet. Gilet may require a capital letter? I'm not sure. Perhaps only ones actually made in Hampshire.
Old Kent Road is a terrifying place when it gets dark, but it's also fascinating in the number of independent stores that it contains. My favourite is 'Modern Supermarket', which, if I were given the chance, would be my desired location for a blind date between Ed Byrne and Alanis Morisette. It is the sort of store that was built not long after the invention of shelves. When shelves were discovered to be an insanely good idea.
Things can be stacked high, without losing floor space - see? What we need is as many shelves as we can get. This place will then be truly futuristic. No, not futuristic. Better than that - Modern. What will put on these shelves? Who cares! People will come from far and wide to see the shelves. It will get more press than the wheel. You can't stack a wheel. Carpets? No one will be looking at the floor - they will be gazing up. Up. Up, at the towers of miraculous shelves...shelves as high as the eye can see...
I like to go there every few weeks and wonder why Tesco isn't called 'Dilapidated Supermarket' in comparison. You can't be truly modern unless you smell like a box that someone keeps their socks and one fish smoking a cigarette. You could learn from this Tesco.