No ‘I’ in team, literally, but there is mixed up ‘me’

LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
LEP Columnist Barry Freeman
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Apologies but am not really here, by which I mean, of course, not really there.

Within the confines of the LEP office, I mean.

Hooray hooray, is a holi-holiday.

Am elsewhere. Somewhere. Nowhere. Desk-free, as free as the wind blows.

Yet unwilling, saint that I am, to leave in my absence a gaping 500-word hole in this newspaper, a pit which would by necessity have been filled by a doubtless already overworked colleague.

No way. Not on my watch. Not, it must be admitted, that I own a watch. Never seen the need.

Anyhow, having decided the best policy was to start early, the column in front of you today was begun on the top deck of a workbound number 23 double decker traversing
Cadley Causeway some three weeks ago.

Monday, June 23, to be precise. Shortly after 9.30am, fresh off the back of five coffees and tabs to match, set out to think of something, anything, likely to be topical in the second week of July.

A lark turned in as a bad job around 9.45am. Knocked out the paragraphs you just read instead.

Retrieved the baton very next day, just before 9am, while taking my coffee outside McDonalds in Cheapside.

Yes, I know, corporate pedlars of fat, sugar and salt to infant and infantile alike, but hey. Give them a break. The coffee is decent.

And frequently free, if you’re not above stooping to peel the wee bean stickers off littered cups. I am not.

Pleasant morning it was. Warm, cloudy, fragments of brightness busting through.

People moved purposefully this way and that, each tackling their own personal Tuesday. I smoked a cigarette while thumbing out the sentence ‘smoked a cigarette’ on my smartphone. ‘Meta,’ I thought.

As I idled Should I Stay Or Should I Go was piping forth at agreeable volume from Entertainment CEX Exchange across the way, and it
occurred to me that Combat Rock was a vastly under-rated album.

Car Jamming, Know Your Rights, Overpowered by Funk, Straight to Hell – all tracks which would make my definitive Clash list, even though that latter ditty does sound a touch like the theme tune from George & Mildred.

As I tried to remember whether Rock The Casbah was up next Tom Petty came on.

I made no excuses and left.