London was awesome and I am now home. I stayed in the Groucho club which has rooms and they are awesome. It really isn’t as noisy as it used to be since they redecorated, and the beds are just…dreamy!
Staying right in the heart of Soho has its plusses and negatives, for one you are so central your name could just be called LONDON the down side is the madness that you witness going for a midnight stroll.
When you live in Soho you have to accept the place and not be too snooty about what you see with your own eyeballs.
For one, the homeless who beg on your doorstep will engage, harass and bug you and blame you for being ON THEIR PATCH…and I fully accept that. They were there before you. They need money and you clearly have it…so come on fat lady pay up! I don’t give cash anymore to the people who beg, not because I am some snooty up my own ass capitalist, but because there is a credit crunch on and they don’t like pennies being foisted on them. They look at your petty change the way Prince Phillip looks at Chinese people but without the casual racism.
“Can you give me £4 to get into a hostel?” one man asked.
“No, sorry I can’t give you four pounds, would you like fifteen pence?” I replied.
“You Scottish tight fisted fuckwit” he snapped at me, his dog even sneered.
I was insulted, spat at and harangued by a fake poet who claims to be the ‘Bard of Soho’ I have to give him cash for his really shit poems, apparently he couldn’t make a rhyme out of my suggestion of ‘I am paying ten grand for a fringe show why don’t you give me cash for my art’.
He kicked me on the back…yes…he lifted his heroin abscessed leg and booted my back, leaving my white linen shit filthy. I accepted the mark gracefully and wore the boot stain with pride. I felt accepted.
Now before you think am giving Soho a bad name, there is the amazing side to it. The sheer buzz, the noise, the lights, the fabulous west end shows, the gay men who promenade, the children who play footie in the street, the ‘models’ who ply their wares with gusto and the total London vibe with of all manners of life sitting cheek by jowl with the fancy restaurants, private clubs and sex shops. I love it.
I love watching the black cabs trying to run down the ‘illegal unlicensed uninsured’ rickshaws that peddle their business in central London. Taxi cabs HATE them and if you ever want to hear a taxi driver swear talk about them….they go MENTAL…its fun.
The Groucho club itself is awesome, but you are not allowed to talk about what happens inside it; finally I feel like I am a mason and have a secretive code to abide by. You can’t take photos or mention famous people or twitter about them or give information about what happens inside, to be honest nothing bad happens, its not Sodom and Gomorra…its just famous people having drinks with non famous people like me sitting about.
Suffice to say I met a musical hero and called him by the wrong name, I am crap at being amongst very famous people. Two things happen, I either think I know them personally because I have seen them on telly or I don’t know them at all and get them mixed up with someone I went to school with. I am no Perez Hilton. I am more ‘Magrit the over friendly cleaner’.
The worst thing is-when you pop out for a ciggie and chat to some anonymous bloke and the paparazzi turn up and flash into his face, blinding you and leave you wondering who the hell you just spoke to!
But all in all Soho is an amazing place and if I ever wanted to live somewhere it would be right there, so I can understand why the homeless like it so much. Like the late Robert Palmer once sang ‘It takes every kind of people’.