The last week has been particularly successful in terms of meeting up with people. Chyde and I have watched two French films to help with the course he’s doing, Delicatessen and The City of Lost Children (make sure you watch it in French, the English dub is awful; and as usual don’t play the videogame). Early last week when Zaki and I arranged to see Batman Begins, Kwame also joined us. Kwame is an Old Whit who was in my year but left early so I haven’t seen him for about six years! We hooked up with Tom G afterwards to go pubbing, Kwame becoming very uncomfortable in The Ship, convinced that a barmaid was checking him out; she wasn’t. Tom and I have been Guild Warring together so have kept in touch virtually. The tales of Phoenix Swift and John Grantshead shall become the stuff of legends. Or possibly trashy fantasty novels.
Curry night, although marred by the London attack leading to a slightly depleted turnout, still brought Chop, Zaki, Phil, Graham, Dicko, Antonia and Adam (who I hadn’t seen since Jesus Ball, leading to a little reminiscing). Andie returned from Spain on the same day, and I finally managed to see her on Saturday. In a triumph of last-minute planning she arranged for a few of us (including Fleur who I haven’t seen for well over a year) to meet at The George and we inevitably ended up at Walkabout to round the evening off, where I bumped into Mark C and Lyndon (though no Richie) and a girl I used to work with who seemed to remember me very well but whose name escapes me.
Croydon, I swiftly realised, is getting steadily worse at night. Fights break out everywhere around closing time and the hefty police presence is both impressive and necessary. Walking home I had one pair of brawling guys dash out of a club in front of me, the chaser being held back by no less than three bouncers. Another chav running down the street to my right was successfully evading four police officers as he weaved between parked cars, until a fifth officer in a bulletproof vest stepped round a corner and just laid into the guy, slamming him against a shop window and flooring him. Within two seconds the guy had all five policemen on top of him. I hate to think what sort of state he woke up in the next morning. Even so, keen as I now am to avoid the police as a result, I can see where they’re coming from. Preventing Croydon from descending into anarchy on a Saturday night is clearly an uphill struggle.