Central

Jun 232014
 

“He’s asked me to sing in a proto-punk band,” said the man in the suit on the phone in the sun on Piccadilly. “I don’t even know what that means.”

Jun 162014
 
Please Pay At The Till

by Steve Lake
But maybe my memory is playing tricks, for working at Foyles in the 80s wasn’t unlike a trip on some fairly serious hallucinogenic drugs. There was, for example, the story of the disgruntled employee sowing seeds into the specially moistened carpets of the rarely-visited Philosophy Department on a Friday evening and returning on Monday to find a small field of cress, ready to be added to his sandwiches. [read more...]

May 122014
 
A Short Journey Downriver

A Short Journey Downriver by Mark Sadler
Twice a day, when the tide is high, the Thames floods the broad, low-ceilinged underground channel from which the Granville emerges. During the autumn and winter, as the temperature drops, these back surges create localised fogs that linger along Upper and Lower Thames Street. The river that London buried alive rises like a ghost through the porous layers of paving to reassert its claim upon its former overground course. [read more...]

Apr 212014
 
Sherlock Holmes and the Howling Desert of South London

by Lucy Munro
I’ve been re-reading Sherlock Holmes. Not in the doorstopper collection with almost see-through paper I bought when I was thirteen and lugged to school and back for a blissful fortnight, immersed in its foggy miasma and gleefully drinking in the details of Holmes’ not-so-secret drug habit, but in a £1.99 Wordsworth edition comprising everything up to his demise at the Reichenbach Falls, a death from which he was never intended to return. [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...]

Apr 072014
 

“Did you know they found a mammoth under there?” She nodded across at the derelict Drummond Street entrance to Euston station I was trying to photograph. “A dead one, obviously.”

Mar 242014
 
Dye It Red, She Said

by Christopher Owen
She rummaged in her bag for cigarettes; then, remembering that smoking was not permitted, put them back. Her bag was always tidy. Mel’s, on the other hand, was always a mess. Stephanie had seen her trying to find a lost earring, pulling everything out onto her desk: old tissues, loose change, Tampax, brushes, mascara, lipsticks, sellotape, door keys, half-empty bottles of Evian. That had been the Friday before Christmas. [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.

Mar 062014
 
The Case of the Missing Instrument

by Atar Hadari
Marty sat with a pint at one of the thick brown benches outside the NFT and realised he’d no idea where his instrument was. He had been down to Gabriel’s Wharf for his tea and eaten a greasy crepe whose traces had left stains all along his palms. He could feel the grease when he rolled his hands on the dark counter. He scanned the quarter mile each side of him and considered where the flute might be. [read more...]