ANYTHING BUT LOVE

I used to share an apartment with my friend the writer Glen Duncan in Notting Hill before we moved to Clerkenwell. At that time he had written three novels almost entirely concerned with the ins and outs of Love, Life and Relationships and he became regarded as rather an expert on the subject. We used to be visited by various friends or members of our circle (and sometimes by relative strangers) who were suffering from the punctures left by Cupid’s arrows or from scars inflicted by other gods and who were seeking what psychotherapists would call ‘the talking cure’. Now I claim no particular expertise in these areas (as, to be fair, neither did Glen) because in fact, we ourselves been rather bruised and both had a quite shoddy record in the field.

Anyway, come they did to our sky-high flat far above the city and Glen, or the ‘Doctor of Love’ as I referred to him, would listen carefully to the details of the various predicaments presented. My role primarily involved being sympathetic in the background and providing tea – and occasionally tissues – as required. After any particular situation had been described, discussed and deliberated, he would pause to consider then lean forward from his armchair with steepled fingers and confidently give his prognosis:

“I think you need to get laid”

His interlocutor would always leave with a definite slight spring in their step – albeit also with a slightly puzzled air at having had the complexities of their dilemma reduced to such a simple solution. On being subsequently questioned regarding the universal application of his panacea, The Doctor would assert, not unreasonably, that there were few human condiitons such medicine couldn’t improve. I suppose he was right.

Anyway, here is the original version of a song from that period.

Hope it works for you.