Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Living arrangements

My host while I am in London is one Peter Myton, footballing colleague of yore, whose interests include booze, cricket and lechery.

I am prepared to overlook all of these vices as I have been staying with him in a magnificent multi-storey residence with a service lift a stone's throw from Euston at no charge. I have the third floor all to myself. It's great.

I got a phone call on Wednesday from Pete himself to say that he was practicing hobby #3 that evening and could I arrange to watch the England game and be back a bit later than usual?

No problem, I said.

Big problem as it turned out: Pete and his exercise partner got stuck in the service lift with his phone sitting on the kitchen table. He therefore borrowed her phone to text the one friend whose number he could remember to get his girlfriend to text someone else they knew to get my mum to phone me to high-tail it home and bust Pete free.

Unsurprisingly, this chain of communication broke down on two counts: firstly, the message that got through was merely "Pete stuck in lift"- no expansion on how this parlous situation was to be remedied. Secondly and even more fatally, the final two links in the chain were on holiday in Barcelona together and not answering their calls, so I never got the message.

Pete related all this to me the following morning, along with the heroic details of how he actually had broken out of the lift. I'll spare you these right now, as they're too heroic.

I digested this in silence over an instant coffee.

"One more thing, Dan," Pete said, his always husky voice dropping to a strangely conspiratorial whisper, "we've got an art exhibition going on in the basement. I'm not too sure what the score is there- they come and go from time to time. Just so you're not surprised when you run into them."


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