July 19 On this fine morning, I was squatting in a flat in Ealing, and looking out at the people going past. Across the busy street I saw two workmen, one a young lad and one a broad old hand. The older man was picking up a plank and grinning at the gangly youth for a moment before saying something and setting both of them laughing. My heart warmed at the sight because I realised that while I, as an outsider to those men and unfamiliar with their terms of reference, could never truly appreciate their joke, it was a rich, and personal vein of laughter in a sorry world.
And in the shop next to them there was another universe to which, yes, I was closed away from, but which nonetheless had the promise of the same kind of laughter. All over the world there was friendly banter, friendly jokes, showing us that we are all part of this human society. And that surely, with laughter as plentiful as it was, society was a good, warm, welcoming, and downright funny place that we should be proud of.
The two men had vanished now, and a smaller gentleman was describing the planks to a police officer.