10th August 2018

One of the defining features of cities is the dense web of connections that characterise them. This week I was sharply reminded of this by the appearance of industrial action at my workplace organised by people I know from elsewhere. I was taken by surprise, but it was exciting to have this part of my life intruding on my normally dull workplace. Since industrial action is likely to be ongoing for some time, I now find two of my worlds caught up with each other. This makes me a little nervous as well as excited. There is certainly plenty of […]

6th August 2018

In the east of Londres, not far from the Tamesis, is a sweet swimming spot in an old dock, beside some thriving lime trees and a thirty seconds walk to the nearest pub. People have enjoyed swimming here for some years, their enjoyment not at all affected by the signs up around the dock saying ‘No swimming’. It is true that there has been one death there from a man jumping in from the side, but this is widely known, and people still choose to swim there. Choice in Londres, however, is for shopping. Choosing your own risks is not […]

1st August 2018

The sun is back and so is my sleep, which means a better day with a sense of wellbeing. I have been wandering the streets of a rich part of town enjoying the sun and feeling jealous. Jealousy of the property of others is frowned upon, but mostly by those who own the houses and feel they deserve them, or those with religious morality. It seems to me entirely reasonable to be jealous when I struggle to buy even a basic house to meet my needs. Yes, I feel jealousy is not so bad as a political principle. It says […]

26th July 2018

I awoke this morning to the beginnings of another sweltering day. Deciding to embrace it, I went out for a run. Sweat ran off me in streams and the burnt ground of the local park was like concrete beneath my feet. A nice thing about extreme weather is that it becomes more acceptable to talk to strangers in Londres. “This heat is terrible isn’t it?” And we share a moment of solidarity, and remember that there’s nothing to stop us speaking to people on other days, except habit, and sometimes exhaustion. But there is something to stop us. I know […]

24th July 2018

As I left the house this morning the sun shone bright but the air was cool. A neighbour’s culinary efforts floated to my nose: roasting coconut. I found myself for a split second in Thailand, in the back streets of Bangkok, a vat of coconut curry bubbling away on a nearby street stall. I like it when other cities appear in Londres like this, particularly a city I am as fond of as Bangkok. The life of the alleyways was something totally different to other parts of the city, which were often colonised by suits and mobile phones and Seven-Elevens […]

16th July

I have just returned from a certain Alban city in which I once lived. For the first year there I was happy, the second year less so. I finally packed my bags and went south once more, fleeing the weather and the boredom, with no house or job to welcome me. For someone who in general loves cities it is a curious experience to go back to a city I did not love. It reminded me of another city, much further south, that I also did not love, full of shopping malls and fascists. In both cities I could be […]