The best thing about this week was happy news from one of my best friends. After some weeks’ uncertainty, she has confirmation that she is moving to the city and we plan to live together. A text message lights up my phone and I read the words, “London baby x”. Stepping out into the small car park outside the studio and amongst the locked bikes and the florist’s van, we shriek at each other down the phone.
Cycling to work I freewheel down Whitechapel Road and there is the taste of autumn in the air: smoke from curry houses, the shape of two girls walking with their backs to me, one wearing a green woollen jumper and the other in a hat with leaves falling around them.
It is a busy week in work with pencil lines across my diary pages, shapes and marks and people to contact. I feel hopeful for the next few months. On Thursday the work boys and I go to the launch of a new paper and print brand. The party is in an open, empty space with people spilling out onto Hanbury Street, hands full of glasses of things and the light splashing across the pavement. The paper is aubergine, jet, guardsman red, heavy to the touch. There is something special in the weight of the paper, the scent of the ink.
I go to visit my friend in the west. I haven’t seen her for a while and it is great to meet with her, to see her smile and the familiar rings on her fingers. She has just started teaching and her bed is covered with paper and books and marking; she tells me about the children in her class, the challenges of teaching newspaper reports when some were the subjects of articles on the London riots. She has a lot on and is working hard, but I know that she will be great. Sunday night and it is comforting to sit on her sofa and watch the drama of X Factor, caring little about the contestants and spending our time catching up on lives and family and work. Walking back to the underground, there is a night-chill in the air though the brick wall at my side holds some warmth from the sun of the day.