Now Brewing

an april day in london

the sweet cloying smell of weed, where was it coming from? and why was it invading oxford street? the lady at m&s moaned “too many young people” were coming to the shop and using the loo. she clearly disapproved. “something is on at the park,” she muttered resignedly.

“is clive at the park?” i thought as the haze of cannabis snuck into my synapses. he was at whitehall yesterday.

i’d never seen him in london before. he was always at plassey. conspiring, conniving, conquering. along with hastings, jagat seth, nabakrishna deb, and was it omichand? they were buying mir jafar, demolishing that petulant siraj, thwarting the french (had they not, i’d have been able to pronounce croissant perfectly), and all the sweet wealth of bengal, then india was making their heads very fizzy. very dizzy. addiction of another kind.

robert clive, always the villain in every tale, who knew i’d bump into him right here? and while i’m permanantly mad at him and his mates, when i think he was just about 33 when he practically won india for a company, it leaves me a bit gobsmacked.

i breathed in the heavy scent in the air. blue and yellow lights glimmered on a tree. many trees. a battle, no a war, was on. this time a 70 year old chap was trying to gobble up a neighbour… would he find his plassey? or maybe this time mir jafar would hold firm, nabakrishna would refuse to sell-out, jagat seth would prefer integrity over money. even as i write that i think, h… what am i smoking?

later sleuthing over a glass of cabernet sauvignon revealed, yesterday was 420, cannabis day, the stuff is still illegal here… so thousands of protesters trooped to parks across the land to smoke up (is that the right term?). and so it was that from hyde park began the invasion of oxford street and the loos of m&s.

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written on 21 april, 2022, while on a holiday in london.

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