Non-illuminated Olympic Signage

Apologies for the lack of posts, but I’ve been in northern France – Cherbourg, Caen, Rouen, Le Havre, that general area – trying to track down supplies of a small, bread-like, sultana-bearing cake that was, I’d been told, absolutely delicious with cream and jam.

[Readers wishing to do their own punchline at this point can use the following hyperlink to go straight to the start of the next-paragraph-but-one.]

Sadly, my Norman scone-quest proved fruitless – I only found ones without sultanas – and I’ve now returned to SE10 a sadder and a wiser man, not to mention a man sporting the heightened facial colouring of one who’s lately been repeatedly slapped.

OK, none of that is true. But the truth is a bit dull, so I thought I’d jazz it up. Basically, since mid-May, I’ve mostly been wearing my other hat – the one with the built-in eyeshade and anti-poet alarm I wear when I’m editing Smoke magazine. Or Smoke magazine and website, as it now is, because – as casually mentioned a couple of posts ago – Smoke, like Greenwich station when the Lewisham extension opened, has gone multi-platform. Which is exciting, of course, but there’s also been a lot to sort out, and I find it difficult keeping more than one ball in the air simultaneously, especially when both balls are quite similar, which mine are.

Both being blogs about London.

The similarity of my balls has, though, given me the idea for this post. A few pieces on the Smoke website – and not just those by me – have, you see, been about south-east London, and therefore may be of interest to people reading this blog; so – at the risk of being accused of cross-pollination and self-fertilisation and a host of other things I’d not normally do without first drawing the curtains – I thought I’d make a little list. Clicking on the title will take you straight to the relevant page (it will open in a new window), where you’ll also find larger versions of the photos.

ALL THE WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE

A short play set in Cutty Sark Gardens in which two pigeons discuss the ineffable beauty and infinite mystery of space whilst arguing over a discarded chip (possibly a hand made skin-on chip from Byron) and whether or not their relationship has a long-term future.

GEORGE OSBORNE BREASTS THE SURF

Have you ever dreamt that you’re on a Cornish beach and George Osborne is bursting lustily through the foam towards you? If you haven’t, but would like to, then the story of how we made the surprising discovery that our beloved chancellor has had himself immortalised in brightly painted wood for use as a ship’s figurehead, and is now on display below the Cutty Sark, might be perfect bedtime reading.

NOT AS GOOD AS MR TUMBLE

There was something rather heart-warming about watching the people of Bermondsey bond in the rain over Skol and bits of wet chicken while waiting to have their view of a boat not containing the queen blocked by someone’s umbrella. I mean, obviously it’s a shame they couldn’t have bonded while celebrating something more worthwhile, e.g. the introduction of an 80% tax band, the return of Michael Gove to his home planet, or the abolition of Fearne Cotton, but you can’t have everything.

IS THIS WHAT PEOPLE DO?

A story written in the aftermath of last August’s riots and set entirely on board the Woolwich Ferry, but not entirely in 2012.

And then we have two stories set in Peckham, which isn’t SE10, I know, but… it’s still SEsomething.

THE LARGE APPARATUS

Do you ever worry that Peckham might be the opposite of a penguin, and have a dark underbelly? If so, this tale of a playground assistant uncovering a portal to hell below the large apparatus in the school hall might strike a chord.

I WAS JUST TRYING TO BE NICE

An unworldly woman from Bristol makes the mistake of catching a number 36.

So there you go. Normal service will now be resumed, because there’s much to discuss. That new grandstand in the park, for instance – that’s looking very impressive, isn’t it? And then there’s the non-illuminated Olympic signage being installed on our road, about which I’m very excited, because I’m forever getting lost on my way to the park or station. The station itself will soon have a new entrance leading directly onto Straightsmouth, by the way – though heaven knows how the horses are supposed to get down the steps.
Oh, and apparently we’re getting one of these…

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