But Lummy, thou reek no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Hoots man, a wee bit o Burns fir aw ma reeking lums, seein as its Burns night or there aboots.
That's enough off that, this last wee while has been a bit of a mixed bag for Lum No 1.
Biggest thing first though, I've decided to move abodes, from South East London, to East London, cor blimey guv'nor.
I got the chance to share a flat over in Stratford, a little bit cheaper, a little bit nearer work, a little bit nearer my usual escape route of Stansted Airport, all adds up to a big bit of sense. Stratford, no, not Shakespeares one, is a busy place, lots going on, most of it I will try and avoid like the plague but it will be a welcome contrast to Hither Green, the only town twinned with a brand of sleeping pills, Dozidrom (TM).
The street I,m moving too is bookended by two pubs, The Railway Tavern, a Queen Vic type of place, full of locals, mostly from Poland and the Balkans. The proximity to the Olympic Park means a 5 o'clock its full of dusty blokes with tool bags and high-vis vests, you don't want to be in here when it all kicks off, nothing worse than a nail gun shootout. The other end is a place called The Cart and Horses, which interestingly is billed, very proudly, as the Birthplace of 80s heavy metal icons, Iron Maiden.
I had never wondered what gave birth to Iron Maiden, or where, but guessed it wouldn't have been a village hall in some leafy English parish, with ladies from the Womens Institute bringing in scones during rehearsals.
No siree, on reflection I imagined some kind of bloody gore fest from Alien or Lambing Live and this pub, at the end of my street, is exactly the kind of place this lot would have been spawned. First up , it smells, I couldn't make up my mind if it was the toilets, or what they use to clean the toilets, if it was the latter, they shouldn't bother and save a few bob and maybe spend it on some furniture.
Opposite the door is a long bar, running the entire width of the place, in the middle of the space in between, normally filled with tables and places to sit , is a pool table, the sitting arrangements confined to the two available walls, the fourth taken up by an impressive stage, all decked out in Iron Maiden imagery and ghoulish cartoons. I thought I had walked into a Wild West Saloon, all that was missing was a piano player that stops when I swing open the doors, and some shifty card game going on in the corner.
Where I sat myself, there were knot holes in the wood, where you could peer down to the sinister depths of the cellar, I thought I saw an eye, staring and bloodshot glaring back, and some scurrying, that could only be made by overlong toenails on beer kegs, I poked a couple of Quavers down, but didn't hear anything more, maybe it was Eddie.
The barmaid was from the east end of Europe of course, not the east end of London and the few patrons really did look like the Unforgiven. Maybe that's why Iron Maiden came here, no distractions during band practice. The place across the road looks more appealing, The Thailander, which is the first pub of that name I've seen anywhere, it has made me curious though.
I've not been feeling myself either this last week, I blame it on a lazy dinner I made. Hotdogs, a favourite snack, maybe at the pictures or the baseball game, but as a rule, ones enough. There is no need to test this rule by eating a whole packet of Red Dog hot dog sausages, with accompanying fried onions on five finger rolls, that's a whole hand, because I have already done that and have decided it is not desirable. Infact, when I see that packet of Hot Dog sausages now, in Tescos, I see something totally different. I see me slapping them into an AK-fartyseven like a magazine of cheap Chinese knock off bullets, the kind that can go off, randomly through the night, spraying there malodorous malice all around the room, but mostly under the duvet. Waking you up, like gunfire in the street, the crouched dart to the panic room, well, in this case the toilet, and safety, at least until the next time. They say Hotdogs get their name because the end of the sausage poking out the bun looks like a dog with its tongue out, I don't see that anymore
We started with some Burns, the egalitarian poet of the peasants, but lets not end there. Consider now for a second this little piece of here and now I read in The Times, written by the wife of Michael Gove, our minister in charge of education and ensuring all our children, from all our backgrounds are given the opportunities that merit brings, and not the ones that privilege do, she says " Like all angst-ridden working mothers, I live in terror of upsetting the cleaner" . What unthinkable horror, and I thought it was all canapes and Klosters up the other end of the spectrum, I thank the heavens I was born working class.
Land may yer lum reek.