Tuesday, June 28, 1983

City of expiring dreams

Little Bartlow seems like a nice place, although it’s full of commuter businessmen. Back at Guy’s, Barry rang the garage; much to his despair the van is a £400 job, and he was very pissed off all afternoon. We played records until Guy’s Dad gave us a lift into Cambridge in the evening.

Cambridge was idyllic and gentle, the quiet quadrangles of the colleges echoing to our footsteps. Barry was very impressed and said he’d wished he’d tried harder in school, which seemed an odd comment coming from him.

We paused at The Badger, a fine old country pub with aged knot-ridden tables and chairs which Guy has been frequenting for years, to wait for his friend Keith who soon rolled up, a plump-faced bloke with black curly hair and a huge toothy grin which hardly ever left his face. I got woozy on cider.

The forecourt of the pub was crowded with tourists and old fashioned-looking profs in aged suits and buckled shoes. We had a couple of pints there—it felt so much like a holiday—before moving on to The Wheat Sheaf, a modern glass and concrete creation, where I ended up pretty drunk.

Barry told us that back at the January's RCP Irish War conference in Whincliffe, we'd been lied to about the Sinn Fein speaker who, we were told, was being held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. This was all hushed up for purely political reasons, he said, and confessed he was pissed off by it and explained why they did it. But he seemed to accept my point that lies and falsehoods aren’t the way to win support. His seemed to say that he won’t be that involved with the RCP for very much longer: “They want you to live, sleep and breathe the RCP. I’m not prepared to give that sort of commitment.”

Guy’s Mum gave us a lift back. I was drowsy in the back of the car.

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