I've been travelling a lot recently, hence the silence at SELFS and the lack of my own riffs on Transpontine, leaving plenty of room for Neil’s eloquent entries.
Got back from the Isle of Wight last night and I’ve still got the Baltic lands of Estonia and Finland rolling away in my head but a walk home from Brockley station to home last night helped remind me why I’m here in the first place.
(I’m still failing to spot the Beast of Sydenham whilst travelling between Brockley and East Croydon though.)
The floral murals by the cab rank are a cool bit of folk-art, it’s a triptych, painted in differing shades for each section, blue, orange and green and hides fairies, cats and goodness knows what else within the tangled images.
Some of us know this area is magical by looking it up in books, others go out there and create the magic and others walk about and know.
The selection of vegetarian junk-food in the Costcutter, opposite the Brockley Barge is pretty magical too, better than the behemoth Sainsbury that squats by the New Cross Gate train tracks. Brockley, as is often reported at the Wickham Arms, has the densest population of artists in Europe, is there a density of veggies there too (or could you only refer to a ‘density’ of McDonald’s regulars or a ‘density’ of people who prefer thick-crust pizza?)
At the top of Shardeloes Road was a big bloke is a frock. It was a silvery frock that contrasted against his black skin in the twilight and it had am alien luminescence about it.
A similar bloke the same style of frock came out of the corner-shop at Brockley Cross and I spotted a third in the phone box across the road, having a bit of a natter. The outfits were good, though they showed a bit too much of what was underneath when the wind blew against them. I wondered if they’d been locked out of their church, it looked like church-wear and it was Sunday evening, hence the phone call. Or were they Christians from another planet, hopefully nicer than the ones we usually get round here.
As a rule, I’m not really in to church-goers but men in random silver frocks is something a grubby urban streets needs, now and then.
What I do like is food foraging, there’s a untapped larder of wild food in London, especially down in our part, so the kids picking the blackberries that were hanging down over the huge poem that runs along the top of Shardeloes Road was a fine thing to see.
If only I had the camera, and they were nearer the word ‘Eat’, that stands out tall and proud on that wall that would be one of the best photographs ever.
This area is urban but it’s still wild, just ask the foxes, frogs, birds and plants. I get hops coming in a month, bluebells in the spring and plenty of local birds and insects feeding off the pear and apple trees in my back garden. This place is alive, there’s life crammed into every single crevice. We’re part of that, not always the best part, but we’re part of it and that’s good.
When I got home I also saw that, unsurprisingly, the Brazilian Jazz Hippies that live above us haven’t got round to building their sweat-lodge at the bottom of the garden yet.
It’s good to be home, for now.