I went to see William Eggleston’s photos at the National Portrait Gallery. What a treat… many of the images are of the extraordinary in the ordinary. Just my kind of photograph. And with the passage of time how vibrant his photos have become. On my way home, waiting for the bus I took this photo. In the future this will say something of the past.
I have had a poetic weekend. I was a poet at the Poetry Café’s Fourth Friday in Covent Garden. That was great fun. Poets gave us love, rye humour, politics and a nice tale of a gasman. There was music, too, provided by Rattle on the Stovepipe –foot-tappingly good. My poems were about people: some famous, others not and a sprinkling of fictional ones.
One of the poems I read at the Café is published today by www.inksweatandtears.co.uk It is about the time I danced with Viv Stanshall of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. Only afterwards did I realise that the man, eccentrically attired in a dressing gown, was the Original Urban Spaceman. What an honour to have danced with him.
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 .
I am a Rye Poet. We are a triangle of poets. We live near Peckham Rye, which is one explanation for our name; the other is that our poetry can be wry. Tonight we will perform at the Ivy House, London’s first community pub. The pub was saved from demoliton a few years ago by achieving status as a community asset. That wasn’t the end of the story. The next move was to get the community to cough up the cash to put the business back on its tremulous feet. And it did. We did. Now the pub flourishes as a venue for all kinds of entertainment including evenings of poetry and blues. We’re in the pink!
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.