8/4/90

We had a leisurely get up after a busy night behind the bar. There was a disco in the top bar and Linda, John Doherty [barman] and me were rushed off our feet from 10pm till midnight. Linda and I caught a bus over to Trafalgar Square to go to the National Gallery but it wasn’t open when we got there so we walked up Haymarket and went to a cafe called the Three Lanterns for a good value lunch of beef stroganoff for me and roast beef for Linda. The whole meal only cost us 16 quid with starters and drinks.

We followed a Hari Krishna parade back to the square and stood on the terrace overlooking the fountains watching them dance while making a passive protest about their temple being closed down. It seems that inflation has even hit Krishna as a bald, pig-tailed guy offering free books on how to achieve heightened conscience demanded “at least a pound” for one of his Divine Highness’ books!

There was a large, jostling crowd filtering into the National Gallery so we decided to give it a miss and go over to the Magnum Exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on the Southbank.  After crossing the Hungerford Bridge, ignoring the pathetic pleas of the assorted dossers gathered there, we finally found the entrance to the gallery with a long queue and an entry fee of 4 pounds which we didn’t have.  So we settled for watching a group of kids skateboarding in the car park then wandered back to the pub.

5/4/90

April 5th. After work Linda and I caught the tube over to Gloucester Road to meet Jenny and Lydia for tea.  Linda forgot to take Jenny’s written instructions but by trial and error we found our way to the flat where they were staying with Lydia’s sister Avril. Posh would be the only way to describe not only the flat but the whole neighbourhood!  We settled in to gin and tonics while we chatted and decided where to go for tea and eventually the decision to go to the nearby Texas Steakhouse was reached. We had a wholly un-memorable meal there, then went back to the flat for further g&ts and copious quantities of Kahlua and milk. It was a very relaxing evening and it is a long time since we have spent time just sitting in a friend’s flat talking over drinks.  We were sorry to leave at 10:30 and catch the underground home.

Footnote: Throughout my diary-writing life I always included the lyrics of the Talk Talk song April 5th in my entry for this day. Here they are from that day in 1990.

2/4/90

At 5:30pm Lydia and Jenny [friends from home] walked into the pub fresh off the plane from New Zealand. They haven’t changed a bit in the 18 months since we last saw them and it was wonderful to see someone from home.

We sat down and had a drink in the bar then went up to our room where we spent an hour and a half talking and looking at our African photos. After another drink downstairs we caught a bus over to Oxford Circus and continued our reminiscences at Break for the Border over beer and Mexican food.

Time flew by and before we knew it it was 10:30 and time to go. We all caught the Bakerloo Line and they got off at Piccadilly Circus to go to Gloucester Road and we carried on back to Lambeth.