Mid winter outside. Warm heaters inside. Single lady cleaning her flat in her underwear. With a la la laa in my song, a dustpan in my hand and a broom in the other, the cleaning was continuing in a matter of fact way. Nothing to write about. That is until I opened the door to stick the dustpan just under the door step where it could catch the dirt in a no-spill way. I went on my haunches behind the scoop, away from the door. Such a simple everyday task. Then the slam of the door. Suddenly the figure on the outside of the door is not so ordinary any more. The song on my lips stopped. I knew that door. It was shut. I also knew my key; it was on the other side of that shut door. So if I know all this why do I push and pull with all my might and groan and moan as if I had a friend on the other side who would hear and open up for me. Face the facts my girl; you are in your underwear, locked out of your flat with a scoop and a broom and the snow outside.
The one thing you don’t do when you move in to a new country is to familiarize yourself with the local locksmiths. Many things go through your mind but only one thing is practical. Tell you legs to move and to take you out where there is information to get you in. I did that. I did not see the point of taking the broom and the scoop with me. I was about to be ridiculed and no broom or scoop was going to make it any better or any worse.
I should have shivered but I don’t remember that. I just remember standing outside my building in Brewer street in the middle of Soho and waiting for a crowd to gather around me with laughing and pointing. Nothing happened. This is London. This is Soho. You wanna run around in your underwear; then run around in your underwear. Here you got to be normal to be weird.
I stopped someone: “Please could you tell me if there was a locksmith somewhere near by?” His eyes locked in mine and never wondered once while he explained the straights and turns to the nearest locksmith.
I was very happy to see the locksmith. The locksmith and I must have made an odd picture walking down the road towards my flat. The door was opened and the case was shut.
Walking the Streets of London in My Underwear