It’s funny how time changes your thoughts. Years ago locking up my bike in SoHo with an hour or two to kill would have registered high. But somehow it didn’t.
I hadn’t heard from my brother but felt his approach, at the same time I felt hungry. I walked over Shaftsbury Ave and into China Town. Take away buffet jumped out at me, I filled my foil tin with care, and walked back towards my bike passing an abandoned table which I sat on trying to rekindle my Soho affection feeling strangely anonymous.
Ok food devoured and with still no word from Jamie I head towards SoHo Square and as I enter I begin to warm to my surroundings; backing up the affection I knew I still felt for the Soho that has fascinated me since I was 16.
It was now 5pm, I had watched the table tennis in a daze for a while, approving of the table which I felt gave the square a new New York feel. As I left to head back to my bike and then on to Covent Garden it was alcoholics to serve for the match.
It’s always nice to return to an un stolen bike, I have been lucky, just a front wheel lifted once. I remember staring at the gap where my wheel once was in disbelief.
Turning my bike onto Neal Street I head towards cafe Diana, which I soon realise is closed for what looks like serious reasons?
I sit on the bench, well that’s still there, and try to call my brother with the latest cafe news.
No reply, I ponder on what to do, it’s now 6pm the eagle should be landing.
As I ponder my bench is suddenly under threat from the street. The absence of the open cafe has left it ferrel, and it would seem to have been claimed by the homeless who look at me as if to say, “this is our bench now!”
Saved by a text alert, “running late, Mick had a puncture eta now 6.30-7pm.”
Wicked! I think, well I’m not stopping here and giving up my seat for an urchin, I mount my bike and jockeying for position with the every day pedlars drop down to cross my favourite bridge, sans sunset as tea on the south bank gives me a sudden smile of a something to look forward to.