featured post

All about the 2017 international short story competition

We’re delighted to announce that the judge for the International Willesden Herald 2017 New Short Stories competition will be none other than...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sudbury Hill Harrow


Up

And over

Winter Solstice, Cardington Park

Overhead is opal turning sapphire,
Down to turquoise, and then blue.
The sun is cold upon the trees
On the far side of the reservoir.
A weeping willow, a reedy bank,
A few leaves, downcast, waiting.
And now three swans approach,
Looking for bread, expecting none.
They glance, reflect and dazzle
Like tomb light on the darkest day.

G

Merry Christmas



The Pogues, starting with 30th anniversary concert in Paris, a beautiful version of Fairytale of New York and next up, Shane and the band on top form with a great version of Dirty Old Town.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Litter and fly-tipping in Harrow

This pile of rubbish has been growing for weeks.

Groups of men stand here at night drinking and others spit paan.

Steps lead up to flats above the parade of shops.

From across the street

The corner of Cavendish Avenue and Hartington Close is always filthy.
On turning into Cavendish Avenue from Greenford Road in the Harrow-on-the-Hill ward of the Outer London Borough of Harrow you are greeted by filth and rubbish that lies and piles up for weeks. Groups of men hang around the corner of Greenford Road and Cavendish Avenue and also sometimes the corner of Hartington Close, drinking and tossing their bottles, cans and litter around or stuffing cans into hedges.

There is an official looking building, which houses a centre for disabled people, around which complete squalor reigns. I myself had to pull large sheets of plastic out of the overgrown hedgerow and stuffed them into a bin, after I got fed up with walking by the scene for several weeks, during which time nobody responsible for that building lifted a finger to tidy the rubbish outside, despite people hanging around and coming and going from there continuously*.

The base of the walls near the corner are covered in what looks like splashes of red paint, but is actually spitted paan residue. What the hell are we paying Council Tax for here in Harrow? The police come once every couple of months and hold a meeting on the corner with anyone who wants to talk to them. Other than that, in over a year living here in this street, I have only once seen a pair of police walking down the street and that was in the daytime when nothing goes on.

A little further down Greenford Road, across the railway bridge at Sudbury Hill station, you enter the London Borough of Ealing. Here in Grove Farm special nature reserve, where a local woman was murdered a few years ago (by a known criminal from one of the Baltic states, a man with a string of convictions in his own country for rape, by the way), I have seen groups of men standing around in the trees, more than one group, drinking and once in a field with a campfire. (Is this a right or wrong use of the place? I really don't know.) And of course, bottles are strewn around there as well. Grove Farm is a particularly forbidding zone for anyone alone or vulnerable, in this writer's opinion**.

Does anyone in power ever go for a walk in the street or do they all go from limo to bureaucratic building to limo and home? Can they see anything as they swish by in their cars to get to the David Lloyd £90 per month (approx.) sports centre? I doubt it.

Ossian

* Update: The day after I posted this, the rubbish was cleared. The overgrown bushes in front of the council building have also been cut right back.
Slipped a bit

** Update: A sign has appeared near the entrance to Grove Farm, which is also the road leading to the David Lloyd sports centre, designating the area a no-drinking area. That should help.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Stop harassment and surveillance outside clinics



The campaigners who stand outside clinics with cameras and posters should be arrested and charged with something. It's intolerable.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Another shop window smashed

Chicken Cottage window smashed
Two shop fronts with cash machines on this block have been smashed up and the cash machines broken into in the last month or so, as we reported recently. It looks like somebody just vandalised this one, or it might have been an accident perhaps. One of the windows of the hairdressers' across the street from this has been boarded up too. Business and life continues as normal while it feels like we are under attack.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Window within a window

Today
The cover of Southernmost Point Guest House poetry book has a picture of the window of the Geranium shop for the Blind in Walm Lane. As of today, a couple of copies were donated and you can see one of them in the window above. Hence "window in a window".

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Chiltern line

Looking west northwest

Near Sudbury Hill

Red lantern Christmas decorations in Chinatown

Wardour Street

Another cash machine raid on the same block

Forensics at work

Shopfront completely smashed

Cash machine broken into
Today we find New Light Computer Sales and Services shop in Greenford Road near Sudbury Hill tube has been raided and the cash machine broken into. It is only three or four doors from the Post Office that was raided and smashed up in the same way for a cash machine as we reported here last month. A team of police including forensic investigation staff were on the scene when these pictures were taken today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Three squibs

The Road  Not Taken

On seeing two signposts pointing opposite ways to Edenderry,
one that said 8 miles and one that said 10


She bid me take her hither,
I bid her take me yon
But I being young would dither
And now she's taking John.

Down by Edenderry
Our rendezvous was set
But I went by the long road
And now she's with that get.

So listen all you geezers
On Erin's craggy coast
Always take the short cut
Or else your arse is toast.

.

Nearly Man

Ah me and Carmel Kavanagh from Navan
In a caravan in Cavan
Almost consummated our mirage.
Then a one night couldn't stand
With Anna from Knockananna
In Banna sur la Plage.
I nearly humped Dymphna from Crumlin though,
On a drumlin near Drumshanbo
But never knowingly akimbo,
She dumped me at Crimbo,
Which ruined my image
In Kimmage.

.

He wishes for the green and silver bits

After WBY

Had I the heavens’ embroidered circuitboards,
Enwrought with silver of solder and flux
The boolean half charge of decision scores,
Resistors and matrices of maybes and mux,
I’d encrypt there the tales of Arabia for you.
But I being poor have only my wee jests;
Tread softly because you tread on my jesticles.

.

Ganache

Thursday, November 06, 2014

John Lewis Christmas advert



This is really lovely. A lot better than the one last year. Full marks to JLP for carrying on this tradition of theirs and for being a workers' co-operative, of course, and a great shop. And a John Lennon song to go with it.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

Harrow Cricket Club fireworks 2014

Waiting for the show to start











Snaps can't do justice to the spectacular display.
Harrow Cricket Club.

The fireworks were good but I didn't think much of the crappy music. And while we were waiting, the hundreds of kids and toddlers rushing around having great fun were bombarded with horrible lyrics in some songs, one of which I found particularly annoying with such lines as "I'm your lover, I'm not your fucking mother." I suppose kids have to get used to that sort of thing now, but really tacky DJ-ing, to say the very least, given the audience.

Ossian

Saturday walk

Grove Farm nature reserve

Grove Farm (2)

Grove Farm (3)

Grove Farm (4)

Grove Farm (5) dry rill

Grove Farm (6) with Kellogg tower in the distance, mid-left

Wood End Lane (1)

Wood End Lane (2)

Wood End Gardens (1)

Wood End Gardens (2)

Wood End Gardens (3)

Wood End Road
About Grove Farm nature reserve (Wikipedia)