Category Archives: London

Stabbing in Hackney

The BBC reports that a boy aged 14 (!) was stabbed in Hackney last night just before midnight, and died this morning in hospital.

It happened in St Thomas’s Place, which is basically the side street next to Lidl, about 10-15 minutes’ walk from where I used to live. And someone asked me the other day if Edinburgh had (in my opinion) a lot of undesirables, i.e. drunks on the street, crime, etc.!

No! I said. It feels like heaven (just like heaven). I didn’t say that, but it does feel peaceful and quiet and the junkies I used to see in Fountainbridge were harmless enough. In Hackney, I would not have stepped out the door after a certain time. Definitely not on my own. There was one time when we went deep into a high-rise rough-as-fuck- estate to see a man about a dog, and while I was waiting in the car a group of youths gathered nearby (I think the estate was somewhere near Kingsland Road, near the Hackney Community College). I wasnae happy.

Cannae beat the experience of that. Hackney = the future, the apocalypse if you want to see it now. Just go there and walk around. At night. At the week-end.

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London is an apocalyptic City

Ferrier EstateImage via Wikipedia

The end of the world is nigh, and it’s started in London (the beginning of the end). When you’re there, and in its rougher boroughs or mingling in its underbelly, you can feel it.

Media coverage of London is hardly ever positive these days – it’s all about gun crime, knife crime, 19 teenagers killed this year already, and hopelessness. Shots of high rises. The Ferrier Estate. Organic veg stalls for the rich. Tourists clogging up Leicester Square.

It’s the perfect city for destruction. By that I don’t mean it should be destroyed, or that it destroys you – what I mean is that if you like a challenge, and want to experience what life might be like when it all goes downhill, just go there. It’s quite dark and hostile, but you can imagine yourself in an apocalyptic episode of Doctor Who. It’s not going to get any better either.

There again, maybe it never was. Having read London: A Social History seemed to confirm that the city has always been overall an apocalyptic, dangerous, stinky, unpleasant mess.*

*unless you’ve got money, in which case it’s fab!

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Getting Pissed on the Tube – One Last Time

Circle Line Party Festivities

Image by Annie Mole via Flickr

One of Boris Johnson’s first policies was a drinking ban on the tube, effective from June 1st (i.e. today).

LastOrdersOnTheUnderground, to celebrate one last time, had put out a call for the last party on the Circle Line (= the tube that just goes around in a circle, with no beginning and end = perfect ­čśŤ ) , starting on the 31st May at 9pm, from Liverpool Street Stn.

The BBC said:

The party, mostly on the Circle Line, was dubbed the Last Round on the Underground or Last Orders. It had previously been widely advertised on social networking and other internet sites.

If I had been in London, I would have gone along. Not to get pissed, but to just support the idea. I don’t understand why drinking on the tube is no longer allowed. I doubt that drinking on the tube caused more violent behaviour, than, say drinking before a football match, or drinking in a pub for that matter.

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Adventures in Chav-land

In London this week-end my chav friend J. (22) told me that his next tattoo will read:

White and Proud

I asked him why, and which whites are included in this pride thing:

  • English? Yes
  • German? Yes
  • Polish? Noooooooooooooo
  • Hungarian? Yes

This doesn’t make sense on two counts:

  1. Polish people ARE white
  2. How can you be proud of the colour of your skin?

I told him that I’m not going to take him up to Scotland, or indeed be seen with him in public again, if he gets a White and Proud – tattoo.

I don’t mind having this one chav – friend, and I can put up with his self-definitions including violence, drinking/alcoholism, ill-education, sexism, and a general dose of chav-culture.

However, when it comes to White & Proud, my tolerance. absolutely. stops. I will not accept it and I will not be friends with him anymore.

A Day Out in London

Stephenson's RocketImage via Wikipedia

Ever since moving back up to Edinburgh, the time I do spend in London (every other week-end) is actually really productive and pleasurable.

When still living there, at week-ends my BF and I would tend to be knackered, moody, and staying indoors. Now, we plan in advance what we’re going to do, and are pretty active. Today for instance we did the following:

It was all very enjoyable. I’ve been putting a lot of new stimulating stuff into my head since moving back up to Scotland. As the Science Museum tells me, you need to keep stimulating your brain in order for it to stay fresh. I’m all for new information, especially, when it’s not fed through me via a TV screen, or via a computer screen.

Favourite exhibit at the Science Museum: The Cray-1 Supercomputer!