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‘So you’re the girl who finally snared Lishman?’ I said.

Jesse is cool, I reckon, a good match for him, and the three of us were having a coffee at the station while they waited for the train to Tunbridge Wells.

Tunbridge Wells is a place that I thought didn’t really exist; like Surbiton or Purley, I thought it was a contemporary suburban, chintz-windowed myth, an incarnation of Arthur’s Camelot maybe, brought small on a diet of tinned soup, ITV drama and the Daily Mail.

I was wrong.

But TW isn’t their final destination, it’s just a stop-off to see Jesse’s sister, because Lishman and Jesse have chosen the rural life – they’re dropping off the grid; taking a lease on a cold-water shack in the mountains west of Barcelona, where wild boars, dragging water from the well, a cash economy and an uninterrupted view of the stars at night will compete with Lishman’s urban, conspiracy-addled brain.

I’m betting on reality to win, but we’ll see.



from August 2009

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