Monday, August 15, 2005


On returning and not having a camera on me.

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.


Anonymous said...

What a lovely post. I recently got back from Spain, and for the first time after a trip abroad, I didn't feel pleased to be home. I didn't feel that usual exhiliration of familiarity and fondness I get upon seeing my first London bus in a fortnight, or those green weeds that always manage to struggle through the roofs and eves of grey Georgian houses.
Your post helped a lot though.
I love Brockley too.

P.S: Are your Brazillian neighbours the ones who I saw playing guitar and flute in Cafe Crema the other day?

Scott Wood said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott Wood said...

Thanks for the nice comments.

Perhaps, I don't really keep track of their gigs, to be honest (being more rhythm, folk & blues than jazz).

It’s gotten stranger with them, actually, which is all good (so far).

Their gardener mate came round yesterday to clear it up the fallen tree that has been lying across the back lawn and he only went and carved the base of the trunk into a huge phallus and plonked it onto the plinth we have in the back garden. The frigging thing is about five-foot tall and they’ve put it on a plinth that’s around three foot. See this link for a picture of the plinth, with our beautiful, now passed on, cat on it for scale.

I think the plinth is an old font base or something, I’ve no idea how it got to our garden or when.

I’ve got a photo of the huge, wooden cock, which I’ll be blogging, probably on my other blog where less people will see it, once I’ve finished that film off.