Down to the deep, deep South I headed: a passenger on the packed train to Peckham helpfully pointed out the luggage rack for my guitar so she could stuff her shopping in the footwell.
Serenity became necessary.
I sat at a bus-stop eating yesterday's quiche; the pub did not open till seven and a selection of energetic twelve-year-olds skidded about hazardously on bikes on the pavement. I mused on my chance meeting with Tom Perchard, a former colleague at the University of the West, who was just returning from work at Goldsmith's. We'd had a therapeutic laugh at the lot of the academic, skint but feted in their field.
Once inside, I picked a slightly less sticky seat and table to sit at. The pub is pitch black inside and lit by fairy-lights to gloss over the grime. The tapestry seats are darkened and stiff with age and I dread to think what else; glowing copper vessels hang from the ceiling and a zebra and wildebeeste ride a static stagecoach, bound for a selection of board games, including Trivial Pursuit.
Everywhere, more stuffed animal heads peer into the gloom, angled like closed-circuit cameras with gimlet glass eyes watchful lest normality should enter the door.
I was conscious of many drunken nights, frequent beer-spillings and a temperamental cleaner. Behind the bar two extremely ancient and dignified bar staff glided along as if on rails, fetching strange-flavoured lagers for the curious clientele.
Frog Morris introduced the night and a competition began; the audience was unwilling to yodel at high volume but painfully slowly, a group of semi-finalists was selected.
My Champagne Friend had come along and for some reason we had a conversation about how horrible goat's milk tastes when you put it in tea.
The Desperado Housewives took to the stage, starting with When a Cowboy Met a Cowgirl and finishing with Dan McGrew, taking a tour of Cowboyland in between. We all sang: Kath played concertina and harmonica, I played guitar and sobbed in Old Ned, and Jude yodelled. We made a fine, if ramshackle, display.
Frog got up and did a sketch about how horrible goat's milk is. What a strange coincidence (and not the only one of the evening!).
We watched a couple of songs by a very good duo, two girls who had a 1920s sound. I will find out who they are and tell you.
When I got home, I put the rubbish out and locked the door, only to discover that a frog was standing on the door mat! It looked a bit embarrassed, as though it had been sent by fate to provide another coincidence in spite of its personal reservations.
Yes, the night the Desperadoes play for Frog, a frog makes a midnight visit.
I let it out; it could have been one of those 'Kiss Me And I Turn Into A Prince' frogs, and I don't need one of those.