How a once-derelict patch of ground, is helping to galvanise a community in one corner of South London.
Squashed gothic churches, beheaded saints, mysterious alleyways and a preponderance of dustbins.
When I was growing up my parents were second-hand booksellers in Bristol. As well as providing ready access to lots of books, it also meant that I got my hands on all kinds of bookmarks.
I recently rediscovered a box filled with some of these cardboard treasures that I once collected.
It doesn’t take much to make a familiar place unfamiliar. A change in the weather – rain, bright sunshine, or more dramatically, snowfall or fog can all do it. Smells too – who hasn’t found themselves aware of sniffing more consciously than normal when drains are blocked, or there’s a whiff of barbecue, bonfire or worse in the air?
And then of course there are a place’s distinctive sounds.
I wonder what the collective noun for nature-writers would be? A ‘Concern’, an ‘Observance’, a ‘Disappearance’, or perhaps, inevitably, a ‘Nostalgia’?
At the inaugural Balham Literary Festival, I was lucky enough to encounter several different members of the group…
This post began as a kind of experiment. At one point it looked as though it might not end well, but we’ll come to that. It started with a question I find myself pondering quite often: just how differently do other people (than me) see the same places?
I recently went in search for an ‘anonymous suburb’.
This is what I discovered.
Today a coffee shop near where I work in Clerkenwell disappeared…