Smoke 15

Apr 092013
 
It Grows On You, Like A Rash

by Jess Sully
A known introvert from a town with wide skies and a vast, shimmering expanse of sea, I didn’t think I’d be happy among the hemmed-in crowds. What I didn’t realise then is that within the anonymity of the ever-flowing throng, those shoals of fast-moving fish who swoop and turn as one entity, I could move silently, unobtrusive and unremarkable. And now I know, too, that sometimes at low tide the Thames smells of brine and seaweed. [read more...]

Sep 022012
 
Brewer Street

by Howard Colyer
He looked as if he had been a waiter in Soho for many years – perhaps he had never been anything else – and there were only the two of us in the room, and I was in the corner: and he got out a CD from his bag, silenced the radio, and put on his music – ragtime. And in imitation of his younger self he danced and twitched about. [read more...]

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Aug 272012
 
Astronaut Trees


On the trunks of the plane trees lining the western side of Kennington Road between Kennington Cross and the traffic lights at Lambeth Road are fastened small metal nameplates each bearing the name of an Apollo astronaut. They’ve been there at least twenty years, but no one seems to know who put them there, or why. [read more...]

Aug 042012
 
Snow Dog


The re-appearance of anonymous photos on the web has prompted more strenuous denials from Battersea Dogs’ Home that cutbacks in the heating budget last January caused severe distress amongst some of the more short-haired residents. [read more...]

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Jul 212012
 

Arm-in-arm, stiletto-heeled, they totter through the Sunday morning rain: a stubbled drag queen with mascara tears and a dead-eyed girl in a silver dress, united by lust for Vauxhall tube.

Jul 152012
 
An audience with the Black Prince

An Audience With The Black Prince by Rishi Dastidar
… you join us here in Lambeth, where I’m privileged to be chatting exclusively to Edward, the Black Prince, back from his military campaigns on the Continent. And, indeed, the dead. So, first, Ed – if I may call you that? – thanks for taking the time to join us this morning. Can I start by asking you why, after 800 years, you’re back in this part of town? Is there a party on? [read more...]

Jul 012012
 
Plunger


Few people know that, should the Regent’s Canal ever get blocked, a large plunger is available for public use on the towpath just off Roman Road. Here, a local woman runs for assistance after spotting signs of backing up in Mile End Park. [see more...]

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Feb 212012
 
London's Campest Statues No.14
The Helmsman, Pimlico Gardens

I don’t know how many of you were part of the New York leather scene at the tail end of the ’70s but, in the bars around Christopher Street, there were really only ever two topics of conversation: were the Village People cynical frauds helping to perpetuate offensive gay stereotypes, albeit with great tunes; and should you, when suddenly called upon to pilot a small boat through uncertain waters, strip off completely or leave your cap on? [read more...]