A London List

September Walks 2013# 030

A little London List, to pass the time. Men in children’s playgrounds who have taken over the monkey bars and associated kits. They pull themselves up with their fingertips, swing for a while, do push-ups with their feet balanced on swings, pull-ups from the top most bars of the climbing frames. When they are done, they nod manfully at each other, and take it in polite turns to work out. They wear vests, the better to reveal their very toned arms, and perhaps, in working hours, investigate insurance claims or answer telephones in the local council housing repair unit. A …

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At Least He’s Breathing!

Magnifying glass

I was sat in a park near Brixton Underground a few days ago, scribbling away, when a man started having a seizure. He was in his mid-forties, I’d say, and was in the park, lying in the sun, with two of his friends.  We’ll call him John.  John had been there with woman – Jenny – before I arrived, resting on one side, occasionally drinking beer.  His second friend, Joe, had arrived roughly at the same time I was – when he entered the park, he was talking to himself, chiding something no one else could see, but on seeing …

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The Canal at Night

Regents Canal July 2014 (6)

So a few days ago, I walked back from my escrima class along Regents Canal after the sun had set.  I always walk along the canal to the class, when the sun’s up, but very rarely after dark.  It wasn’t much past 8.30 p.m., so hardly the deepest hour of the night, but canal towpaths in London – indeed, perhaps, in most places – have a reputation.  In the minds of most Londoners, I think it’s fair to say that after sunset, the canals are associated with crime and danger, ranging from your petty flasher, up to the most extreme …

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Joyous London Maps

big ben

These…. http://literarylondonartprints.co.uk/Literary-London-Map http://www.buzzfeed.com/tomphillips/the-definitive-stereotype-map-of-central-london?utm_term=3l6eqo2#23oq5jk … make me happy!

London Things That Make Me Happy


1.  The 243 bus route, as it gets to Goswell Road, announces the stop in one of the most sensual voices ever to grace the London transport network.  It’s almost indecent how excited the automated recording sounds to be pulling up at this venerable, sometime-gateway to the old city.  (Footnote: it’s also at the stop where time is frozen at 14.10, according to the clock above Survival International’s office.  The world may turn, the sun may set, but within the walls of that charity is a workforce trapped in a space-time bubble where it’s always that depressing moment just after …

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