27th September

'wheelie bin' sepulchre. Return the shovel and that will be the end of it.

Walking back towards the porter's lodge I bump into Darren, one of Mick's colleagues. I explain what I'd been doing. "What did you do that for?" says Darren. "It took an art student hours to squash that rat ... I think they call it installation art." It did cross my mind fleetingly that maybe he was right. If Damien Hurst can bisect a shark, why not squash a rat?

Goldsmiths College was voted one of Britain's top 50 'coolest brands.' I am sure this is the result of its celebrity alumni including artist Damien Hurst, comedian Julian Clary, poets and musical figures like Linton Kwesi Johnson and rock band Blur. This award and the absurdity of the whole 'rat incident' triggered the imagination. Wasn't a half-eaten mouse mounted on a cappuccino cup lid on this very street last year? Maybe an anonymous art terrorist, with Situationist tendencies, is hidden away in the 'College of Kool'? Perhaps white tape should outline the place where this pesticide victim met its maker?

This fable from the beginning of term put a completely different inflection on Walter Benjamin's street walker "who goes botanising the asphalt". On my next caffeine-induced wander I should perhaps take a flower for Dear Departed Ratty. It is


the politicians who need flattening, and they might do well to spend a week walking in the footsteps of first year undergraduates. George Perec said, "to live is to move from one space to another, while trying as far as possible to avoid bumping into anything." Perhaps in our time it is also a matter of avoiding stepping on anything unspeakable.

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28 September