Rare are the nights the Diary spends sleeping on the cold hard pavements of west London. But that’s not to say it has never happened.
There was one fateful occasion when, after a night of Bacchanalian revelry among a company of nymphs at a themed hostelry near Temple, the Diary hopped aboard entirely the wrong nightbus and was later forced to make camp on the streets of New Malden.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, sleep was fitful and the Diary’s dreams were plagued by disturbing visions of demonic beings, among them a large pale ghostlike creature in a hat and lycra leggings. Fortunately salvation arrived in the form of a pale Dawn – who had been out all night checking the park benches.
Similar nocturnal hallucinations may have been experienced by those hardy souls camping out on the streets of SW19 to ensure they got tickets for Wimbledon last week. Imagine the horror that must have gripped their bosoms when they were awoken from their slumbers by a pale, ghostlike creature emerging from the gloom.
While the Diary’s pale phantom was imaginary, this one was very real – but fortunately its intentions were benign, as it was in fact a giant cuddly soya bean by the name of Big Al, not an emissary of the devil.
Big Al had been sent out by soya milk brand Alpro for one reason or another – possibly something to do with strawberries and cream. Carry on Big Al.