Sunday, 28 August 2011

The day before the Notting Hill carnival

Unusually early vomit outside McDonald's. Unrhythmic electric drills as shops board up. Stacks of crush barriers. Portaloos. Tourists at a loss, waiting for fun.

I sit outside a cafe on Portobello Road. Kilimanjaro has been in hospital with stomach pains. He is considering giving up drinking for a couple of weeks or maybe forever.

Courtesy of me, a photo of Egbert the St Lucian Rasta has appeared in ES magazine. Tesco's on Portobello Road stocks the Evening Standard but not its aspirational Friday colour magazine, ES, which indicates what the distributors think of Portobello Road. I ask Kilimanjaro what Egbert feels about it. 'It's made him the happiest he's ever been,' he says.

Egbert appears, looking happy and holding a copy of the magazine which looks like papier mache after prolonged handling. I offer to make him a durable copy of the page sealed in plastic. 'One for each of my daughters,' he says. 'I went to a funeral party the other day and for the first time I saw my daughter Victoria in black. She looked WICK-ED.' He walks away, waving. 'I love all women, even the married ones,' he says.

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