So Meesstair Bond Jones, we meet again.

My arch-enemyâ’s implacable bulk loomed immovably in front of me.

Actually I’m not sure if ‘loomed’ is the right word in this context.

The Bricklayers Arms, south London.

Let me explain.

I left Docklands yesterday evening at about 18.30.

And arrived in the house in Brixton at 20.10.

Yep, it took over an hour and a half to travel thirteen miles.


At 19.45 I was still only a hundred yards north of The Bricklayers Arms.

Staring at it.

The journey took so long my imagination kicked in.

It almost seemed to be taunting me, The Bricklayers Arms.

Its lip-curling sneer dared me to crawl another half metre further forward.

Suddenly its character changed from Blofeld to Harry (of the Dirty variety).

Think you can make it punk? Think you can get another handful of centimetres further forward, do ya? Go ahead and try punk. Make my day.

I looked around at the other road users and wondered if they too were having hallucinations.

The girl in the Porsche next to me seemed intent on collecting three points for nattering in to her mobile phone whilst at the wheel of the car.

She also spurned her compulsory seat belt.

I mentally composed a new public message seat belt campaign:
Notice to drivers, the penalty for not wearing your seat belt is deathâ’ – accompanied by a suitably gory picture.

Bit too hard core do you think?

The driver of the Lithuanian-registered builders van behind me picked his nose and flicked ash in to the lap of the motorcyclist; shoe-horned between the van and a traffic bollard the motorcyclist brushed the ash from his lap, raised his visor and shouted ‘Oi!’

The van driver either didnâ’t speak English or chose to ignore the motorcyclist’s existence.

I wondered if the Lituanian-registered van had any insurance.

It was an interesting spell of people-observation but I really could have been more productive.

Over an hour and a half!

Thirteen miles?

Welcome to 21st century London, folks.