Sunday, 23 December 2012

Calendar Girl

My photographer friend Alex Grace produced this fun advent calendar featuring all the local dogs. In at number 23 is Lotus.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Market Forces

Walking around Smithfield yesterday reminded me of all the things I love about London... 
... the mad juxtaposition of old and new,
sublime and mundane,
quirky and functional.
Miniature housing estates painted onto the concrete blocks that divert articulated trucks into the vast loading bays.
Tinsel decked meat packers caffs and down to earth boozers, licensed to sell liquor at dawn, nestle between elegant, Michelen-starred restaurants serving festive tasting menus at £80 a go. 
The meat market, built in the 1860s and designed by Sir Horace Jones, who also designed Tower Bridge, covers ten acres in the middle of the city. A large swathe of the market was burnt down on the 1950s creating space for the incredible poultry market to be built. With the largest curved concrete ceiling in Europe and funky 60s mullioned windows it stands in perfect contrast to the elaborate Victorian structure. The whole market has an enchanting but worrying sense of neglect about it. 

Buddleia bushes sprout from window ledges and some of the buildings are shut down and boarded up. Two workmen, guarding the entrance to a abandoned underground NCP (that appears to have a miniature chateau built above it) assured me that I won't recognise it round here soon. Well, that would be a real shame. London doesn't need another sanitised, touristy, fake, commercialised, boring, characterless, heartless, street- performing, depressing, family friendly market-turned-shopping-area. No names mentioned. 

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Fifty Shades of Black

Once upon a time there was a big, dark house. It was the middle of winter and the sun struggled to rise above the big dark houses on the other side of the street. In the big, dark house was a big, shadowy basement. In the shadowy basement the rooms were painted a murky grey and the floors were dark. In the murky rooms a collection of strange lamps, dating far back to the middle of the last century, are the only source of light. In each strange lamp an energy-saving lightbulb emits an eerie, humming glow. In the eerliy lit rooms boxes can be seen: boxes overflowing with dark objects. Shelves are lined with dark files and dark, glossy computer screens wink in the flicker of a candle. A dark dog with a black collar lays asleep in a dark corner. Black cameras, black lenses, black chargers, black cables, black hard-drives and black portfolios, are piled on black desks. Black beanies, black scarves, black gloves, black bags, and black dog-leads are thrown onto black chairs. Black perfume bottles, black headphones, black pens, black wallets, black iPods and black sunglasses are precariously arranged on the nearest black surface. And somewhere in this twilight world is Ed’s Blackberry and it’s run out of battery.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Left-field Shopping Center

The divinely dilapidated interior of St Paul's Church, almost as beautiful as a crumbling Venetian palazzo (although Essex Road doesn't quite conjure-up The Grand Canal), is hosting the most magical Advent event today. Browse the pretty, candle-lit stalls of hand made gifts, vintage cashmere and retro home-ware. Snuggle in the cozy cafe and nibble mince pies to the music of a heavenly harp. Breathe in the divine aroma of beeswax, Christmas spices and lavender...
Warning: Not a lot there for teenage boys - although Ed secretly enjoyed a few glugs of mulled wine behind the altar.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Curtain Call

So, after six months and 73 shows to a combined audience of 98,000 Ed will step onto the stage at the Palace Theatre for the last time tonight. It's been brilliant fun and we are sad to say goodbye.