On my way to see a flat I walk up Abbey Road, a totally nondescript suburb of nowhere. On a pishing wet Sunday there are literally queues of people on either side of the famous crossing, waiting to stand astride it and get photos. Local drivers honk horns and curse. People in wax jackets hang about nervously giggling, as though John Lennon might at any moment claw his elbows free of the asphalt and give them an autograph.
The walls near the studio itself are covered with tawdry ink missives. I heart beatles.
Later, I go to meet my cousin Jo in a nondescript pub on Columbia Road. Busy but atmospheric. Unruly hair. Scarves and chunky glasses. Gay guys in tight shirts. Ex-Eastenders actress and pals, unnoticed. The realisation comes that these are the same pubs that your TV heroes go to. Pegg, Ayoade, Lee, Herring, Mitchell, Webb. Exciting (given that you know the right places to go).
The next day, I committed that most heinous, schoolboy error: I came out into central London without my mini A-Z. At night. Among crowds of equally lost people. In the end I had to hire a rickshaw to get me to the cinema in time for Pan's Labyrinth.
The thing I miss having most is my toy compass. Useful in well-laid-out New York, absolutely vital in London's insane sprawl. I got the plastic gem – functional, amazingly – in exchange for ten (normally worthless) tickets at Coney Island, after playing Skee Ball with Caitlin. I wish I had ten more just like it.