Lost at The Lido
Posted on August 10, 2012
Sometimes football just hits the spot as supreme entertainment. An elegant brace from Yaya Toure makes my day and in turn puts Man City within fingering distance of winning the league. Days later, a fellow City fan and weed-hound is in town and we can think of no other way to celebrate the majesty of the Ivory Coast midfielder than skinning up an enormous joint. Not any ordinary joint, however, this should be in the colours of the Ivory Coast flag. And lengthy. And THICK.
There’s party residue littering the living room and making my mind all kinds of syrupy. Breakfast is found in the scattered debris, a half bottle of flat Desperado and a joint that’s just about worth re-lighting. There’s no food in the house so we head out with light heads and hunger that should be satisfied at some point. This is self-conscious narrative building at it’s best, giving yourself problems and seeking satisfaction in their solving.
Living not too far from Camden, it’s the obvious place to start a hunt for colourful weed papers. Everything is a head shop in Camden Town. Of course, any adventure begins in the pub so we (myself, the man known as Coos and my lady wife) head to BrewDog to drink masterfully created, sarcastically strong beers. The Chris from Stone’s Stout delights with its raisin notes and sticky 10.2% deliciousness. Bread and olives keep us strong for the upcoming quest.
We drink down delicious booze with hunger and delight and put that fine buzz on everything. Hops do the tongue bop and we leave BrewDog half-bouncing. We decide to hit up each of the weird souvenir/head shops on the high street, looking for weed papers in orange and green. Each has shop pretty much identical stock and disinterested staff. After several dips into these oddly mirrored shops, we find ourselves in possession of an overpriced packet of mint rips and an equally overpriced packet of short orange skins. The shame is that the orange only have little pics of oranges on rather than being entirely orange. And the mint rips are mint green rather than Ivory Coast green but we have little time to smooth out the finer details if we’re to spend an adequate amount of time drinking.
The day is wearing on as it took us ages to leave the house, so it’s the perfect time to be in Camden. The street food is abundant, especially the Chinese stuff, and at this time of day they’re giving it away more than usual. Now, I know this food isn’t of quality or true deliciousness but it has salt and texture and it’ll fill my booze hole for the discount price of 3 quid. So we sit on severed scooters and look out over the canal and chow down on some shit in a tray. All good, we’ll barely be able to taste a thing for hours. As this is a cannabis crusade and we’re by the water it seems only right to pause by the canal and smoke a relaxing early evening joint, with occasional over-shoulder glances for those with enthusiasm for the law and those punks with enthusiasm for tokes.
All of these events have encouraged a huge sense of satisfaction so we break at one our favoured drinkholes, The Lock Tavern and drink down the best brew they have, Meantime’s Pale Ale: light and refreshing, but still with some hoppy excitement. If you can ever get hold of their huge, corked bottles of India Pale Ale drink it down excitedly, it’s fucking lively. As we drink I realise I’m frantically stoned and so pen my rules for enjoying London.
1. Drink at every opportunity.
2. Always dress for the occasion.
3. Eat strategically.
I’m not sure if this is where I’d truly end a guide to enjoying London, but it’s certainly all I put down in notes. I quickly moved on to drawing a diagram of Yaya’s Length that we have pencilled in for later. And then quickly onto an idea about writing a rap song about the joint. The official plan for me and Coos is “rap over youtube videos of Yaya’s goals. Intersperse clips of us with our hoods up. Maybe no shirts. Open shirts. Pel’s booty.” These notes end and we tail off talking about football, with most utterances beginning “do you know what else I love about Yaya…”
One drink always leads to another and as this is an occasion and Coos’ time in London is short we can only think to take him to the finest booze house we know, The Southampton Arms. A quick journey on the overground finds us in Gospel Oak drinking high percentage ales of unvaried excellence. Our biggest problem is that we can’t afford the great bar snacks they have here, but we make do on drink only. I’m happy to find there’s something great from Marble, a brewer from my hometown of Manchester, and something aggressively strong from the ever-reliable Dark Star. It’s too hot and crowded and seat-less in the pub so we spend our time in the space out back, talking nonsense and enjoying everything.
When we leave it is somehow established that we’re going to look at the closed Lido around the corner, so we grab some shop-beers for the journey and I discover that public pools are a thing they still have in London. Of course, it’s closed and we look like we’re on the set of a horror film. Here we are at an odd, grand building set far from the road, our only company being trees and a formidably dark sky. It’s not long before rain pours and we have to shelter under a tree to enjoy our beers. There’s no sign of a creepy caretaker so we have a little joint to celebrate this strange location and to further any feelings of trepidation.
The journey home is swift, not only given to the geography of the situation but due the severe twist developing on everything. The blur and fuzz extends through an excellent take-away Indian and life just about settles and slows as we begin the construction of the monstrous Yaya tribute joint. The rolling is all left to Coos, for he’s an expert in these things. I attend to creating a cocktail from the things I found in our local shop which I buzzed around in a frenzy. It’s at this time I come up with the BBW. We drink in the boozy milkshake and soon the joint is ready. Now we feel the genuine delight in the the fact we made a frivolous plan from the previous evening come true.
Of course, we smoke, and this journey is deeper than the rest, challenging and enlightening. Before soon, my jeans are off and I’m rolling around the carpet and the only thing to drink is a bottle of Jacob’s Creek sparkling wine and that too is gone quicker than I can understand. I scrawl ‘screaming visions of life’ into my notebook below where I’d previously written ‘a steam-punk stoner from the future’, not that either mean anything nor will they be acted upon.