Ben came round last night on the way home from work to pick up some stuff he had left at mine before we set off to Seville. Stuff we had both subsequently forgotten, his journey from Sarf London to Sevilla being work>mine>cab>airport without a stop at his own gaff.
That business concluded, we headed off to The Little Taperia in Tooting High Street to raise a glass of Rioja to Andalucia over tapas (Manzanilla olives, Morcilla Scotch eggs with piquillo peppers, Salt cod fritters, Patatas bravas and - deep breath - 'Grilled asparagus, manchego, quail eggs, pine nuts, paprika oil').
A poster on the wall of La Giralda, every story of which we had climbed by foot only the week before last, amplified our duende. Encouraged, I addressed the waitress in something approximating Spanish; she was Bulgarian.
We must Little Taperia again and again. He finishes work reasonably early, so if he calls round on the way home few places are open. The 12pm – 10pm Taperia has its arms open for us between five and seven when few other establishments do (especially when you factor in all the places he and I are banned from between us).
Another thumbs up to the good people of Tooting; as we were sitting in the Taperia I heard a siren and glanced out of the window. A car had managed to let an ambulance by. I looked on with a combination of admiration and disbelief, as I realised that the tom-fool cycle lane bollards that so disrupt the A24 once you cross the railway bridge to Colliers Wood were nowhere to be seen.
We live near to St George's University Hospital. Transport for London (TfL) - aka Sadiq Khan - had the wonderful idea of imposing Low Traffic Neighbourhoods on us with the aforementioned bollards and the insane invasive traffic island bus stops making it all but impossible for siren blaring ambulances on their way to collect and to return desperately ill people to A&E to overtake, for example, me as I am wandering down the road on foot to Coffee in the Wood. Ben, not untypically, nailed it with an understatement. If you are driving and there is no possibility of getting out of the way of an ambulance whose journey is more urgent than yours it is "embarrassing."
If the Wandsworth Oblast has rebelled, while the Merton Gulag continues to pledge its allegiance to this madness .............