South West

Jul 032014
 
Going Underground

by Juno Baker
Steve dreams of King Canute, sailing through Brixton on a Viking longboat, gliding past the Ritzy yelling in a smug nasal twang, “Oy, Steve! Thought you were getting a Waitrose round here?” He watches Canute’s ship disappear up Effra Road towards his flat. There’s Shelly, all dressed up on the back. She smirks at Steve as if to say she’s too good for him now. King Canute puts his arm round her and shouts something else, but he can’t hear it. [read more...]

Jun 032014
 
Battersea Baptism

by Hilaire
Don was wonderfully straightforward, I was discovering. When I’d asked if he’d film me, he’d simply said: “Sure, why not?” No incredulity, no awkward questions. Unlike – but I shut down that thought. In truth, I didn’t care whether there was any film in his camera. I wanted a witness, that was all, and someone to haul me out if I unexpectedly got into difficulties, as the local press would have it. [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...]

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.

Jan 272014
 
Swaps

Swaps by Chris Long
All the same, I remember them – and everyone else who lived in a council block – putting notices in the local paper looking for swaps. That is, asking someone with a house and a garden if they would swap. Even at the time, the idea seemed a bit far-fetched: of course someone with a house and a garden would consider moving to the fifteenth floor of a block of flats where, when the wind blew hard, the water swayed in the toilet bowl. [read more...]

Nov 032013
 
The Ghost of Tooting Bec Common

by Kevin Acott
Normans from Bec ended up in Streatham, as everyone does, and settled on Tooting Common, building a swimming pool but running out of money before they could get the roof done. Eventually, they integrated with a local tribe of fearsome, though eternally disappointed, warriors known as Palisfans and, to all intents and purposes, disappeared, leaving behind only the name of the place and the infamous South West London shoulder shrug. [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 212013
 
A History of Fennel in Wimbledon

by Mark Sadler
If Father Hendlam were alive today he would grab Martin Young vigorously by the shoulders and shake him from his stupor, not in anger, but in a kind of evangelical fervour. He would drag him before a mural in the nave at St Mary’s that depicts a cross-section of a London fennel bulb, and point out a small section in the labyrinth named “the alleyway of lust”. “Do you SEE that, boy?” he would bellow. “There’s where you are.” [read more...]

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