Saturday 19 April

A biscuit and wine-based catch-up with Daisy at the flat. She has doubtless stolen many hearts on her journeys from Buenos Aires now relayed; that smile only falling out of favour when it began to melt a glacier at the crooked foot of the world. Mine is much better, thanks for asking, and encased in restrictive galosh is sufficiently agile to mirror Daisy’s dancing in the tiny top room of Truffle in Badger’s Northern Quarter. Booked for a private party we tap into her Latin brashness to counter the nervy Englishmen and women who, having reserved without reservation, now hesitate to enter and disturb the pantomime of rhyme within (Superstitious Minds; Jomean play loudly on the clockwork tune selector). Eventually thrown out, but having finished our cider, we head back via an ‘Offie’ in which Daisy can’t resist challenging the price of Buckfast, where most would challenge its very existence. Slumped and smoking she tells me of a Canadian chap who is navigating the Americas by tandem, giving lifts to needy fellow travelers. His free and generous spirit appears at odds with a bloke she vaguely remembers dating who kept a daguerreotype of his ex, amongst others, in sleeping-level view of his latest flame.

Despite my warning that both Bateman and Jefferson Cake have enjoyed brief, recent mummification in my sleeping sack, producing a blend of aromas that would re-petrify Cleopatra, Daisy chooses to remain entombed on the Ottoman tonight. While I am touched that she remembers which side of the bed I tend to sleep on (banter to the bed-deck) it is apparent this is more out of self-preserving vigilance than sentimental affection. No likenesses on either side of the dream machine these days. We learn our lessons late and it seems unlikely that Daisy, having treated me to yet another exquisite session in nostalgia, will agree to decorate even my downstairs space with any degree of permanence.

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