before I die I want to

A blackboard on Barry Road (Peckham Rye end) is headed ‘before I die I want to…’ Here are some of the wishes

The chalkface of desires

The chalkface of desires

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

todobeforeyoudie

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 .

 

 

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We’re in the pink

Rye Poets at Ivy House

Rye Poets at Ivy House

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!

Desmond’s barbershop

desmond'sAre 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.

Interregnum coffee

Since I keep no coffee at home I go out for my  fix. When I have a coffee I like to taste it, and not the slick of a pint of milk. That, after all, leads only to arses the size of a table for four and furry arteries. Also… if I wanted a warm milkshake, I would ask for one. I’ve been thinking about coffee because many local cafes have been closed between Christmas and New Year. A good thing for the staff, but trying for the likes of me. Get over it, you say. I have. Today I had a perfect flat white @toastdulwich

And how marvellous to be in a position to complain about coffee; such an indulgence. I almost want to apologise.

Bum steer

Once upon a time in Lapland where the snow was metres high, I learned a lesson which I’d like to pass on. A two-person husky ride has one passenger who is seated (as if in a Russian movie) while the other stands to steer the ride. Do not choose to sit – as I did – for when the huskies begin their morning ride so too they begin to evacuate their bowels. My nose was directly in line with the dogs’ bottoms. Take a stand. Merry Christmas!