Lea's dulcet tones are vaguely disapproving. 'You still reek of alcohol.'
I raise my eyebrows. 'Well, I can't smell it.' I know that he's right, though; I had reeled away from my brother's birthday party only eight hours previously, and still had the hazy vertigo of one who should be in bed, not in a cafe/restaurant in Mayfair.
Fosters lager with absinthe chasers.
The waitress brings our breakfast. I temporarily ignore the scrambled eggs and toast so that I can focus my attention upon the ornate pot of strong, invigorating, more than welcome coffee.
Outside, the rain waits to ambush us. I don't care. But I'm having my breakfast first.
Hyde Park is only a couple of streets away, and my mind wanders there as I gulp down mouthfuls of caffeine. 'So, apart from the Counting Crows, who else is at this Festival?'
Lea shrugs, reflecting my own indifference. It's the experience we've come for, not any band in particular. Just up the road, the American Embassy is guarded by men with semi-automatics. Two doors down from where we eat, an antiques shop is displaying an heirloom once owned by William Gladstone. Most of the cars parked outside have personalised plates. Mayfair is a strange part of London, a blend of diplomats and daytrippers, the secrets of many states hidden behind all those Georgian frontages.
South Audley Street twinkles in the rain as we scurry across it, heading for the Park. Full of breakfast, we grin brazenly at the glowering sky. This is the comfort that follows the debauchery; it is amazing what a cooked breakfast can do. Before the day is out there will be more rain, three young women asking me for a cigarette, and various musical cacophonies rolling across this green lung of London.
People chugging from plastic bottles, grilled salmon and chips from a stall, tea, Pepsi, meeting up with the Cornish crowd, unfunny American comedians, all splayed out on the faded grass of Hyde Park.
Grass the colour of absinthe.