How I Came Back to London

[Including this coz it’s mentioned in my bio on]

We had a client. Lets call him Takemura-san. He wanted a themed design for a restaurant. He had backers. We had regular meetings. We provided the design concepts, plenty of Kirin lager & sushi, he promised us money.

At the point where it was all pretty much finalised, he just disappeared. My architect friend (call him Kenji-san) couldn’t find him after much searching, so we just wrote it off as a bad debt and an annoyance.

Then, a couple of months later, Kenji-san called me to say that he had found our cafe — or a poor facsimile thereof, with our design concept and everything — smack in the middle of a popular area of Tokyo. Obviously Takemura had sold our concept on to someone else, without paying us anything for the use of it.

So, Kenji and I turned up at the cafe one night. The manager promised to call the owner. We sat and drank beer while we waited. Finally, a heavy set, punch-permed ‘businessman’ turned up, with his nameless, wraparound-shaded offsider. Businessman explained that it must all have been a mistake, and that his ‘company’ had purchased the designs from Takemura in good faith. Meanwhile, Offsider relaxed back into his chair with his jacket open, so we could see that he was packing a handgun.

We were very polite. They said they would ‘talk with Takemura’

A couple of weeks later, Takemura, obviously convinced by their talk, handed over a substantial portion of what he owed us.

I bought tickets and came to London.