Au Palais du Crackque

I’ve just returned from yet another interlude at the homestead of the Dapper Swindler, whose Hackney Mansion has been the centre of our social network for many a year now. The end is near for Palais du Crackque, with its denizens all planning imminent moves across the breadth of East London – and this is sad, because we’ve had many a good time there – this video from a few years back documents a typical evening there:

Anyway, my own involvement in PdCqk has only ever been ephemeral. I’ve never lived there, even for a month – although I’m pretty much the only person I know who hasn’t, and I can claim some entitlement through my association with the symbolic mog Pockets Penrose (subject of the Poivrons song ‘Our Cat is Fundamental’), whom I had to look after for a few weeks earlier this year when the ceiling collapsed.

Exhausted from my return trip, I don’t have the inclination just at the moment to launch into the sustained flow of sentimentality which regular readers are probably expecting from me. But I will say that I’m delighted that this was one of my last visits, because in a sense it was a totally platonic one: there was homely cooking in front of Bargain Hunt, the cat wasn’t being a prick for once, the weather was nice, the people in Local Supermarket gave us free sushi, the Dapper Swindler let me wear his French pantaloons, we did about twenty jillion crosswords, there was midnight vindaloo at one point, we had a really productive recording session, and we watched Father Ted while the D.S. did a terrible watercolour of me as a deranged pirate. Plus I somehow got a few days’ work done in amongst all of that.

Perfect, and typical of the Hackney experience that it would draw to a close on such a keynote. Onwards.

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