Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Lauristen Village

I’m afraid there’s very little left of me tonight, and I may actually fall asleep before finishing this blog. The plane home from Ibiza last night was ever so slightly late, which meant we missed our connecting train from Luton Airport to Kentish Town and got home at 5am.

I spent much of the day yesterday coming down with a cold, which has launched a full-scale attack on me today.

I had to get up at 8am to edit the last film for The Space. We work from Penny’s house in an area of Hackney they’ve started to call Lauriston Village. It’s a charming enough area, sandwiched between Victoria Park and Well Street Common, with lots of rambling Victorian properties. It’s actually the first place I lived in in London, long before the gentrification took place. It used to have a bit of life in those days; a bit of edge.

Sadly now the place teams with yummy mummies. The shops are almost exclusively delicatessens, boutiques selling designer children’s clothes and posh book shops. There’s not a greasy spoon in sight. A loaf of bread from the organic bakers costs £3. The chips from the chippie are served in retro boxes. A whole industry generated by people with more money than sense. The middle class residents push out the chains, forgetting that the few working class families on the fringes of the community would LOVE a shop which sold cheap food, or a little cafe where they could buy a proper cuppa for a quid.

I have just come back from a wonderful massage and now I feel like I’m floating. So so tired, yet kind of content.

My thoughts go out to the good folk of Hattersley today, which is where two police women were murdered yesterday. Dave Pragnell, the special constable who features in the films I made about the estate at the start of the year, obviously knew the two women really well. It's a terrible business, and will plainly give the rest of the world an excuse to bash the estate and its residents again.

350 years ago Pepys walked from Deptford to Rotherhithe;
I walked by brave moonshine, with three or four armed men to guard me, it being a joy to my heart to think of the condition that I am now in, that people should of themselves provide this for me, unspoke to. I hear this walk is dangerous to walk alone by night, and much robbery committed here.”
Thank the Lord for armed guards!

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