Smoke 09

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…]

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…]

May 142013

In the tombless gloom of bombed St Mary’s churchyard, between the Elephant and the looming shell of a dead hotel, he carefully unfolds a music stand, and uncases his trombone.

Jan 202013
London's Campest Statues No. 8

by Matt Haynes
If, on nearing the top end of Gray’s Inn Road, your response to the deepening pond of filth sloshing round your hush puppies is to lift your eyes heavenwards in search of spiritual sustenance, then you’re in for disappointment. For stiffly mounted on a pinnacle with his sceptre pointing skywards and his bare toes gripping a weighty ball is this cocky young lad making a most ambiguous gesture. [read more…]

Sep 212012
Walking Round You Sometimes Hear The Sunshine Beating Down In Time With The Rhythm Of Your Shoes

Walking Round You Sometimes Hear The Sunshine Beating Down In Time With The Rhythm Of Your Shoes by Lucy Munro
Wide-eyed and precocious, we come blinking out of the station, trying not to look at the A-Z. It’s noisy, grubby, and there are smells we know we’re too young to recognise. We’ve seen Camden Town in Madness videos: the boys skanking down Kentish Town Road to Holt’s in search of DMs; Chrissy-Boy standing on the traffic island wearing nothing but a tan mac and a cardboard sign. [read more…]

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