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Accommodation

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…]

May 302014
 
Morning Tea with George

by David Marston
There, at the end, was a tent. And not just a tent. An upturned steel drum was acting as a rainwater butt. White brushed ash marked the site of a fire. Clothes hung from a bush, drying in the morning sun, and a rolled-up tarp suggested some more extensive waterproofing had recently been in use. Someone was living under canvas just outside Lewisham town centre. [read more…]

Jan 302014
 
The Banker and the Thief

by Alex Cary
It never ceases to amaze me how fast the Elephant is gentrifying. There he is, late forties, full mac, three-piece suit, a tie pin, designer glasses and a briefcase chained to his arm. I can almost touch the aura emanating from his bonus. When did these people start leaving Chelsea? The lift stops. We’re only at the first floor. Another exercise dodger? No, great, it’s a kid, hood up indoors, the height of August. The banker freezes. [read more…]

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…]

Dec 222013
 
Have You Seen The Amazing Man?

by Daniel Ross
The first time we saw him was in 2009, on Euston Road by King’s Cross station. We walked right past him and then immediately turned to each other to remark on his outré ensemble and delightfully carefree disposition. What a case, we said. Much better than the Elvis impersonator we saw shuffling to a gig on Caledonian Road with full golden costume and burger sweats. [read more…]

Leo

Nov 072013
 
Leo

by Colin Tucker
I retreated to the bedroom determined to concentrate on work. My exercise books sat on a small table, one for the novel, three for short stories, one for general observations and two blank, though one of these had ‘BBC’ written on the cover. I opened it and unscrewed the cap on my Sheaffer pen. Motive, I thought, the murderer needs a good motive. Marigold came in and sat on the bed. My mind went blank. [read more…]

Sep 122013
 
Living on the Crease

by Nydia Hetherington
Not wanting to seem ungrateful, I popped the A-Z nonchalantly into my backpack and thanked the Map Gods for their timely gift. The letting agent had given me good instructions, but a map would definitely be useful too. Except that Cheriton Square wasn’t on the map. When I got to Balham and opened the A-Z, I found that it had slipped down the crease between pages 108 and 109. [read more…]

Sep 022013
 
Remembering Sea Alley

Remembering Sea Alley by Mark Sadler
I grew up in a dockers’ terrace on Sea Alley, in East London. Our house was one from the end of the row, near to where the street split into three tributaries, like an old piece of frayed rope. A stone staircase ran along the front of the houses. When the water was at its highest point, it would come up over the third step, leaving the fourth step clear for you to walk on. [read more…]

Apr 232013
 
A Dirty Wink From Chairman Mao

by Dale Lately
A “hip, funky, upbeat kind of stay” is how one online guide describes this distinctive London accommodation, and the shiny-eyed receptionist – barely out of her teens – gives you a hip, funky, upbeat kind of swipe card when you hand over a grubby twenty. Cell 14, she tells you. Sorry? She smiles. That’s what we call them. It’s part of the theme. [read more…]