Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A London Walk


Change. It comes when you least expect it and more often than not, when you are least prepared for it. This weekend saw a great deal of change for me and as with all good transformations I'm not quite sure what the outcome will be, but then if I was expecting or prepared for it, it would probably do me no good. What has any of this to do with food, or indeed the walk that the title promises. Not a great deal, just a little context for you to understand all of this, a little context to trace the lines I drew with my feel across South London.

You ever get the feeling that the street knows your walking on it? That every step you take the street moves obstacles and creates gaps so that you glide effortlessly through crowds and never break your step? That's the feeling I had last night, walking through Streatham. Some days, the street isn't so gracious and makes you trip, brings trouble your way, but last night bowling down the hill, I was untouchable and free, a ghost in white adidas shell toes.

The journey over the hill and down Mitcham Lane, even at the hour of the night I found myself walking was something of a culinary journey, a few miles with food as milestones. Guys in hoodies eating fried chicken in bus stops, pausing only briefly to offer me a baggie of weed as I shoot past. I pass a cafe full of Somali's playing cards, a small warming cabinet on the counter crammed with pastries and meat patties of unknown provenance. A very very drunk man failing to eat most of doner kebab stumbles in front of me. The smell of frying meat, cheap coffee and cigarettes. People leaving a Mosque. A pub was closing.
PS The picture has little to do with anything, I'm sans camera at the moment and it was the only picture of London I had to hand. It is not Streatham.


Catherine said...

great piece and I love the photo.

shuna fish lydon said...

sometimes it's as if the sidewalk is walking you.

maybe me and my stan smiths will run into you in london?

susan said...

wow great pic! i miss london. :/ maybe not the weather. (i'm in LA)

Anonymous said...

I love the way you can do that in London. My daily walk to work used to take me from the Uxbridge Road with its Caribbean restaurants and shisha houses to the stylish restaurants of South Kensington. I'd pass pretty much everything else along the way.

As much as I moan about it, this city is an amazing place really.

Anonymous said...

So what's next for MG? I do hope you'll let us in on these "good transformations."