"Would you like to be artist in residence under the Westway?" he said, so I got used to the sound of the A40 in the rain.
I'm in army fatigues searching among the street people for a man without a telephone. Egbert, the St Lucian Rasta, my most reliable and loquacious model. I find him holding court outside a cafe on Portobello Road, all cheekbones and diminutive elegance.
Egbert kisses my hand fervently and calls me empress. I feel like one.
His friend Kili turns up.
"Wie geht es Ihnen?" says Egbert.
"Es geht mir gut."
Egbert gets up to go. He whispers in my ear: "Her name is Doreen. She is short and chunky with bow legs. She is a wonderful cook. She's cooking me fish. One love."