Once again, last night, i returned to my junior school, as i do maybe once every three months. something was going on, in fact, i’d spent a good deal of nights back at home recently anyway, just in the general vicinity of the school, perry road etc.
as we (two others and myself, i believe becky was one of them) were leaving, we walked past what actually used to be the staff room, and they’d added a little hotfood counter, along with ricecrispie cakes which i used to love so much as a kid, they used to make them really well at my college, always gooey. There were only two left, so we bought them, and split one of the cakes so we could all have a piece. except, the dinner lady warned us that they’re not as good as they used to be – and she wasn’t wrong – dry and made with carob instead of chocolate.
we sat down in an impromptue seating area just by the corner where you’d leave the school building, and quite a gathering was building up – someone’s wedding party or birthday or something, the hosts i knew, but the guests, i had no idea, despite their insistance that they knew me. dido turns up, and we chat briefly before she hestiantly sits on my knee to read some documents, and then tie her shoelace. She tells me i have nice hair, and shouldn’t have it all stuck up with hairspray. She’s nervous about performing tonight at a venue which i tell her is not that big – quite intimate, unlike the royal concert hall i say. she seems a little less concerned, but the show is not until 11pm. I know i have plans that evening, but i say i’ll come over and see her perform after i’ve done whatever i needed to do. She smiles and asks me to wish her good luck. “good luck..” i say and lean in and kiss her on the cheek, “but you don’t need it”.
i think i was slightly preoccupied with the fact that i’d had my laptop stolen earlier in the day – alex, niamh and i had met in the park which i also visit often, and went for a walk through a winter scarred copse of trees with not a single leaf between them – and found ourselves at an amusement arcade with a rollerskate park – the others seemed less interested, but i’d not been rollerskating for ages, and they eventually agreed. we put our skates on, i was concerned they wouldn’t have a size 9 or 10, but they did, and they seemed to fit well, despite my shoes which i had just taken off where size 5.
The rollerskate park turns out to be part art gallery, part educational establishment, and generally had too many staircases and floors to be effective as a rollerskate park, but i seemed to be quite adept at skating and had a good time – until i realised, that along with my shoes and coat, i’d left my laptop bag unsecured in the changing area. i quickly skated back to the area, climbed down the steps, with a handrail that finished halfway down the stairs, took a left through the narrow doorway and back into the changing room. under the pile of our coats, the laptopbag, still there, but no laptop – just the power supply left. My first thought was that i could get a new smaller laptop on the insurance, but then, as i ran through in my mind the data stored on the machine, i got really quite upset. a history, a lifetime, all gone in a single swipe.