I mean why would you live anywhere but Peckham? Yes, I know there are reasons, very good ones, for living elsewhere. But does your street cleaner – I bet they have fancy titles like hygiene directors or refuse managers – look as good as this guy in his pair of comic-book glasses, which he swears he can see out of? I thought not.
A blackboard on Barry Road (Peckham Rye end) is headed ‘before I die I want to…’ Here are some of the wishes
see a puffin… say love you… see the Northern lights (with Amy)… hang out with my dog… (dog’s wish – to catch a squirrel)… make a masterpiece… eat around the world… meet David Attenborough… do well in SATs… witness the end of poverty… enjoy every moment…make my kids proud
The little girl’s wish is to dance. I’m not saying what mine was… and by now it has been rubbed away to make room for other people’s wishes .
Are you familiar with Desmond’s, the Channel Four sitcom – its longest-ever-running sitcom – and still available for viewing on 4OD? Well, it was inspired by a real barbershop in Peckham. I am exhibiting photos I took over a period of three visits, 2009/10. It was a gloriously ramshackle kind of a place that had seen a lot of life, now consigned to history as it closed six years ago. Here is one of those photos. An exhibition of them is currently being shown at DKUK, a hair salon that doubles as an art gallery.
An example of the new and old face of Peckham.
New is the man pushing a buggy. Once this was a rare sight, now they are everywhere. I wonder, though, if beards are about redressing the balance. As if to say, I may be a caring, sharing type of guy but I’m also a caveman.
New is the Foxtons’ sign, or F for short. They too are everywhere.
Old is the fab looking hairdressers. New and old is the artwork. A portrait of Diana Ross circa 1960?
How marvellous to live at a time and place where people make art and invite people into their home or studio to see it… a chance to visit friends and strangers and be assured of a welcome. I’m showing work with three other artists; my effort is a collection of photos of mannequins for which I have an uncanny fascination. Each to his own.
Nothing could prepare me for what I saw at Keleti Staion this past week. Masses of sinister-looking police decked in black controlled the station, but where were the Syrian refugees? I looked down the central steps and there they were penned in behind a grille. In fact they were confined to the underground foyer, left to take comfort on a cold, unforgiving floor. It was a pitiful sight. Stepping outside the station I saw hundreds more people, coping with temperatures in excess of thirty degrees. Children could be seen playing, but for this little boy it was all too much. Now that they are on the move, let’s hope they find sanctuary.
On a sunny day on Choumert Road off Rye Lane in Peckham I came across these two gentlemen seated on chairs on a red carpet. The scene is very Peckham and surely adds to the jollity of life.
Went to Southend at the weekend. It lived up to expectations and so did the weather with drizzle turning to persistent rain. Wanting to escape the rain and to eat, we went into a restaurant where a series of mugshots were arranged in the entrance along with the legend: Eaters and Runners. Grainy pictures. How did they get there? CCTV, of course. We didn’t bother to eat there and ran without running up a bill.
Who could resist a sale advertised in such a way? Here in Peckham this is how it’s done.
First off I went see We Are Many at the Ritzy, a stunning movie that will remind you what a bloody debacle the Iraq war was/is and how worldwide demos against it were so crucial. Then I went for coffee and a walkabout Brixton market – lively and creative as ever. Marvellous.