From back issues

Apr 142014
 
The New Romantic Luge

by Matt Haynes
Hedonism, of course, was the name of the game, and pretty much anything went. One night, Boy George nearly brought Duran Duran’s career to a premature end when, clutching a garish mojito, he hurtled down the slope using Simon le Bon as a toboggan; luckily for the course of popular music, the chubby Brummie took it in his pantalooned stride. [read more...]

Apr 112014
 
London's Campest Statues No.11

JACOBVS SECVNDVS, Trafalgar Square by Matt Haynes
Don’t be fooled by the Roman garb. This effete nob with his toga tossed casually over his shoulder – part Brideshead, part Duran Duran circa Planet Earth – and his tunic hoicked over his knee like a Year 11 schoolgirl at a bus stop in Watford is, in fact, King James II, his body languidly bowed like a small fey banana and his upper limbs polygonically disposed as if to remind us that, truly, this was the noblest teapot of them all. [read more...]

Mar 202014
 
Grant Shapps: Man of the People

by Matt Haynes
Prompted by yesterday’s announcement by Grant Shapps – that things would all be a lot better if we just got on with our drinking and bingo and let them sort out running the country – we look back at our response to a similar initiative from the Evening Standard during the heady last day’s of Ken Livingstone’s mayoralty: a hard-hitting series in which irony did battle with hypocrisy for the soul of Standard editor Veronica Wadley. [read more...]

Mar 102014
 

“Do I look like someone who needs a sorbet-maker?” he dolefully asks the bleary-eyed flotsam piled up on the N3’s stairs as birthday gifts are passed between strangers for appraisal.

Dec 092013
 
Urban Intervention No. 23

With old-fashioned zebra crossings now an endangered species, why not thank courteous drivers by offering a friendly handshake through the passenger window as you cross?

Nov 252013
 
The Peckham Panama

by Matt Haynes
In the grass are, unmistakably, the ghosts of abandoned roads: cracked tarmac and kerbstones, carless and homeless, fading to brown and green. And here’s the thing: if you look in an old A-Z – one from the sixties, say – Burgess Park isn’t there. But those spectral streets are; and they have names, and purpose, and they’re drawn in hard black ink. There’s also a line of turquoise, running dead straight between them. [read more...]

Nov 012013
 

As the one o’clock mums race their prams round Wandsworth Park, she suddenly falters, breathless, and – staring down at Archie’s gurgling face – thinks bleakly of sports days to come.

Oct 172013
 
Paddington Chews It Off

Paddington Chews It Off by Matt Haynes
Paddington gazed dejectedly at the menu. Years ago, he’d persuaded them to add marmalade sandwiches, but they’d used “artisan bread” with the texture of damp compacted sawdust, and the marmalade hadn’t been marmalade at all, but something they’d called orange coulis – and THEN they’d had the temerity to charge him £5.95. He’d hidden it under his hat, telling them he’d save it for an emergency, and not mentioned the subject again. [read more...]