Ladywell is a bit of a contradiction. Too close to Catford to be really nice, but with a great organic shop, El’s Kitchen, and this café, Oscar’s, nestled amongst the kebab shops and newsagents with broken shop signs. I like Oscars. It’s tidy and cute, like a well-behaved kitten, but playful too, also like a kitten. Yes, the kitten metaphor has an extensive and varied utility, perfect for characterising certain cafés. There’s a lot of colour, and art on the walls, some of which is OK. The kind of pleasant local things that people unassumingly produce and hang in places like this. It’s the antithesis to First Thursday posturing, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a huge Klimt covering a wall, but for some reason here I’m willing to tolerate it. Maybe that’s because you feel quite calm here.
The food looks good, not too expensive. (Well, too expensive for me, but still.) They also have ice cream. Coffee at £1.90 per Americano. Today I got a Latte and it’s pretty good. Today there is a new member of staff, who evidently snapped this job up before I got the chance. ‘Excuse me, fellow, but I could deliver this Latte even better than yourself, so says I.’ I sit in the garden prising open a Derrida book for the first time. Ah, unemployed in the UK – so conveniently excusable in the current climate – just enjoy it.
Far away a young lady prepares to visit the opera: Wagner, I am informed through the modern telegram we know as SMS. In isolation, jealous, I am outside, under the clouds, under an umbrella.