Established 2003. Now incorporating The Sudbury Hill Harrow and Wherever End Times

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Message to US Republicans

"What will you tell your kids?" Strong case made against Donald Trump by the Lincoln Project, Republicans in the tradition of Abraham Lincoln and against the would-be tinpot dictator and puppet of Vladimir Putin, friend and admirer of Kim Jong Un and other obnoxious men of that type.

Thursday, June 06, 2024

Short Story of the Month, June 2024

Is it June already? There's a cold northwest wind blustering through rainy London, so I said to myself, let's go to Vietnam for a while, meet some interesting people, and see what happens. I'm still there. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

June 2024: New Moon by Michael Howard

"…He almost never shut the doors giving onto his balcony and when he did it was only for a few minutes at a time—half an hour at the most.

That’s how Tram came to know these things…"

Michael Howard

Michael Howard's writing has appeared in Mekong Review, New World Writing, Paste Magazine, Gordon Square Review, Creative Loafing, Hypertext Magazine, The Forge, and others. He lives in Vietnam.

Tuesday, May 07, 2024

Chalk directions/pavement art/fun

"Have a good day!"

"Step" ... "Jump"

"Hop on one leg"

...and into the sunset

Photos: 100+ yards? Along the pavement on the south side of Whitton Avenue West, 6 May 2024.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Short Story of the Month, May 2024

I think I remember a line from The Story of Lucy Gault by William Trevor, "Things can go wrong in an empty house." Also in a seemingly empty hotel and arguably an empty relationship, perhaps. Intrigued? Read our Story of the Month for May by Cath Barton to find out what happened. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

May 2024: At the Hotel Swinburne by Cath Barton

When we returned to our room after breakfast on the fourth day of our holiday, Arnold told me he didn’t like the mirrors in the hotel.

‘Really? We can cover that up if it bothers you,’ I said, pointing at the full-length one opposite the end of our bed. ‘I suppose some people get a kick out of looking at themselves performing.’

‘For goodness sake, Marie,’ he said.

Cath Barton
Cath Barton is an English writer who lives in Abergavenny. Her novella The Plankton Collector won the New Welsh Writing AmeriCymru Prize for the Novella in 2017, was published by New Welsh Review the following year, and is due to be republished by Parthian Press later in 2024. Subsequent publications are In the Sweep of the Bay (2020, Louise Walters Books), Between the Virgin and the Sea (2023, Novella Express, Leamington Books) and The Geography of the Heart (2023, Arroyo Seco Press). Her most recent publication is a pamphlet of short stories, Mr Bosch and His Owls (2024, Atomic Bohemian).

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chestnut tree beginning to bloom, Harrow

Chestnut tree beside the public bridleway woodland path, part of the London Capital Ring at the junction of Wood End Road, Orley Farm Road and South Vale, Harrow this afternoon

Friday, April 05, 2024

Short Story of the Month, April 2024

This is a story that will linger in your mind and make you think about people past, present and future. They are out there. Ed.

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month 

April 2024: April 2024: “With Every Choice Something is Lost” by Mike Fox

“She was there most days, though it took me a while to realise. Still and unobtrusive, I began to notice her small figure, always in a white blouse part-concealed by a faded grey mac, standing in what seemed to be contemplation. Before long, as I passed through the churchyard, I found myself looking in the hope of seeing her.”

Mike Fox
Mike Fox
has co-authored a book and published many articles on the human repercussions of illness. Now writing fiction, his stories have been nominated for Best of Net and the Pushcart Prize, listed in Best British and Irish Flash Fiction (BIFFY50), and included in Best British Stories 2018 (Salt), His story, The Violet Eye, was published by Nightjar Press as a limited edition chapbook. An illustrated collection of new stories is being prepared for publication by Confingo Publishing in 2024.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Grove Farm view

Grove Farm local nature reserve, Ealing. View from steps at the southeast corner, Easter Sunday 2024

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Two billboards outside Greenford

Corner of Cavendish Avenue and Greenford Road, Harrow

Two billboards on a gable wall. The top one from The Woodland Trust, advertises "Feeling crisis-y about the climate? Plant more trees". The one underneath at street level is a palimpsest of bits of old posters stripped away. Setting, corner of high street, people about 1pm, shops, a car, shadow of chimney pots from opposite building behind viewpoint. (Photo 24 March 2024)

Monday, March 11, 2024

Three poems from Day of the Flying Leaves (audio)

Bookmovie from Fonoteca de Poesia - Stephen Moran

  1. The Hunter-Gatherer Children of Dublin
  2. Eleven Homes
  3. Visiting Molly
The text is displayed smoothly to look like book pages turning. My reading, I don't know, not too bad. I'm grateful to Fonotexa de Poesia for this, which I consider an honour. (Steve)

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Short Story of the Month, March 2024

I love a story where you have to ask yourself "What is happening here?" And by the end you think you might know. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month 

March 2024: Outlaws by Neil Brosnan

It’s bizarre; four women travelling together and not a single word being exchanged between us. It’s not as if we’re not all acquainted: his sister is driving, my sister is the front-seat passenger, and the driver’s daughter is sitting beside me in the back – doing something on her iPhone.

Neil Brosnan
From Listowel, Ireland, Neil Brosnan’s stories have appeared in both print and digital magazines and anthologies in Ireland, Britain, Europe, Australia, USA and Canada. A Pushcart nominee, he has won The Bryan MacMahon, The Maurice Walsh, and Ireland’s Own short story awards, and has published two short story collections.

Friday, February 09, 2024

Mobile NHS Covid-19 Vaccine Van at Sudbury Hill

"NHS Health Review - Make Every Contact Count
Worried about your health? Come and talk to us."

"NHS Covid-19 Vaccination Service
Walk-in vaccines available here today ..."

Two parking spaces have been reserved for the mobile NHS vaccine van, seen here.
Greenford Road, North Greenford, next to Sudbury Hill station, outside Iceland supermarket.

Thursday, February 01, 2024

Short Story of the Month, February 2024

For February we have a story that touches on respect for local history and traditions and aspects of behaviour at home and abroad and people who are wonderful. So for once I have nothing funny to say in this intro. But I can assure you that it has nothing to do with interior design. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month 

February 2024: "My Yellow" by Amanda Huggins 

... Avril shakes her head. ‘I understand the thinking behind it – I know they don’t want Davy to be frightened of the sea – but sending the young bairn out there in this weather isn’t quite the same thing as getting back on a horse after being thrown. And the clothes? He’ll catch his own death dressed like that.’
I turn away from her for a moment, clenching and unclenching my fists as I try to hide my irritation. ...

Amanda Huggins
Amanda Huggins lives near Leeds and is the author of two novellas and several collections of short stories and poetry. Her work has appeared in, among others, Harper’s Bazaar, Mslexia, Tokyo Week-ender, The Telegraph, the Guardian, and on BBC radio.

She has won several awards, including the Kyoto City Mayoral Prize, the Colm Tóibín Short Story Award, the BGTW New Travel Writer of the Year, and three Saboteur Awards. She has also placed in the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Com-petition, the Costa Short Story Award and the Fish Short Story Prize, and been shortlisted for the Bridport Prize.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Tuesday: The magnificent trees of Westbourne Terrace

View down Westbourne Terrace from across Bishops Bridge Road waiting at a traffic light on red

On the point of action. The moment when an English traffic light turns red and amber.

TRAID charity shop, Shepherd's Bush

Three shop window mannequins dressed somewhat bizarrely

Wider view of TRAID shopfront

 "TRAID is a charity working to stop clothes from being thrown away. We turn clothes waste into funds and resources to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our clothes." 

Visit TRAID Shepherd's Bush for more details and how to donate or arrange a collection.

Monday, January 08, 2024

"Open storage," Wood End

Monday afternoon
This site beside the tracks used to be some sort of car breakers or suchlike. Then it was cleared and a sign went up and stayed for a couple of years, saying "Coming Soon - Clearview Homes." Now there's a sign outside advertising "Open Storage" with the number of square feet etc. The building just visible on the horizon is what used to be called Kellogg Tower, though it has a new name now it's been turned into flats. The intervening semi-wooded area is part of Grove Farm, a "local nature reserve". The railway is the Piccadilly Uxbridge tube line. (Wood End Road his afternoon)

Sunday, December 31, 2023

Short Story of the Month, January 2024

Our first Story of the Year 2024 is about a quest, a journey in a narrowboat over days and months, meeting a cat and people known and unknown along the way and asking them a question. Not the cat, the people. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month

January 2024: Cranes by Alex Barr

Fidler took early retirement and spent a year restoring a narrowboat, but when the year ended was filled with emptiness and horror.
  His daughter came to stay and was shocked.
  ‘You look terrible, Father. You’re not yourself.’
  ‘Who am I then?’
  ‘Why aren’t you out on the boat on the canal? Why restore a boat if not to use it?’

Alex Barr
Alex Barr’s
recent short fiction is in Tears in the Fence, The Lampeter Review, The Interpreter’s House, New Welsh Reader, The Last Line Journal, Otherwise Engaged Journal, Sixfold Fiction, Mechanics Institute Review, Litro Magazine, Feed Literary Magazine, Reflex Press, Samyukta Fiction, and Streetlight Magazine. His short story collection ‘My Life With Eva’ is published by Parthian in Wales, where he lives.

You might be interested to know that Alex Barr is a previous contributor to Willesden Herald publications, having provided the story “Homecoming” chosen by Maggie Gee as a prizewinner for New Short Stories 5. His poem “Southernmost Point Guest House” also became the eponymous title for that anthology of poetry. (Ed.)

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

New cake shop, Sudbury Hill

CakeCo "Honestly Delicious Cakes"
The ever-changing local shopfronts clustered around Sudbury Hill tube station. CakeCo replaces The Flower Nest, which replaced Doreen's florist. In the same couple of blocks there are three Polish supermarkets and an upstairs Polish restaurant, another cake shop, an Iceland, three fried chicken shops, two kebab shops, a fish-and-chips shop, four barber shops plus one "nails and beauty parlour", about ten Asian grocers, newsagents and greengrocers, another florist, dry cleaners who will also cut keys and mend shoes, a launderette, a betting shop, an undertakers, two estate agents and a glazier, a cards and photocopying shop, a pharmacy, a Chinese herbalist, a vape shop and a pub. There's a tiny coffee shop with chairs outside and a small newsagents kiosk on the sides of the station entrance. 

Up until a year or two ago there were two hardware shops, a bank, and a Chinese takeaway, another pharmacy and a Wenzel's sandwich shop, all now gone. Barclays Bank, which occupied a large frontage was replaced in the last year by a Budgens supermarket, which lasted no time and has now rebranded as another Mieszko supermarket, of which there now seem to be three with the same name. A member of staff in the former Budgens, now rebranded Mleszko, said that Tesco owns both Budgens and Mleszko. Tesco Mleszko/Budgens Shmudgens! (If anyone knows otherwise, please enlighten us. Ed.)

Saturday, December 23, 2023

Burnt-out car update

"Abandoned car notice" stuck on burnt-out car

This was reported to Harrow Council on 3 December. They've now stuck a notice on the burnt-out car. "To the owner of the car with registration number PE18*: This car appears to have been abandoned." No kidding!?

* I've been trying to tell them it's "PE18 UXS" but I can't get through to them. Update: I did eventually. (Ed.)

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Burnt-out car update

Burnt-out car, a black Toyota CH-R reg PE18 UXS, Cavendish Avenue, HA1 
Still there Monday 18 Dec. Harrow Borough Council abandoned car report ref. 723333, reported 3 Dec, acknowledgement received 7 Dec. (More photos and details)

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Willesden Herald Stories of the Year 2023

Tuesday, December 05, 2023

Street art, Kai Ohlsen?

Fulham Palace Road, Tuesday

Street art signed KOHLSEN, possibly Kai Ohlsen (signs the same way anyway see ), paper poster on metal utility connection box today. Also written on by someone else "SY was here". But whether it's genuine/original/a print is open to question. Saatchi Art online lists some paintings by Kai Ohlsen.

Fallen tree overhanging footpath, North Greenford

Fallen tree resting on a fence and overhanging a footpath and the road. It's been like that for more than a year. Whitton Avenue West, North Greenford, London Borough of Ealing. Update: The tree has since been dealt with, cut up and sections left behind the fence to decay naturally.

Sunday, December 03, 2023

Burned out car, Cavendish Avenue, Harrow today

Badly burned out car viewed from the front, parked in an un-overlooked part of the street

Interior snapped through open side window

From another angle it's seen that the engine and front are burned but the rear is not.

From the rear it is seen to be a Toyota CH-R Hybrid. The Reg plate has partly torn off. "PE18 ----".

I reported this to Harrow Council today through their online abandoned car reports form. (Ed.)

Update 7/12/2023

The car is still there today. Noticed in the following photos that the missing part of the registration number plate is in the interior. It's possible to deduce from the photos that the reg is PE18 UXS and a check on the DVLA website shows that this car matches, i.e. a black Toyota hybrid etc. Harrow abandoned car reference: 723333.

Interior (rear). Note the part of the registration plate in the bottom left corner.

Another view of the interior today (front)

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Short Story of the Month, December 2023

Having personally had a sad experience among the delirious people who speak in tongues that sound a lot like jazz scatting and are big into the laying on of hands, I can relate to this gripping tale of sex, mass hysteria, hallucination and snake oil. Oh, and love. (Ed.)

The Willesden Herald Story of the Month 

December 2023: Shimmer by Alan McCormick

… I’d just dropped out of university – thankfully no question of ever going back home after that – when shag-a-rent landlord Nick spoke to me in my bed and hooked me in: ‘You ought to come and hear him speak. He’ll make you feel good about who you are, and help you do things you never thought possible.’ …

Alan McCormick
Alan McCormick lives in Wicklow. He’s trustee of InterAct Stroke Support who read fiction and poetry to stroke patients. He was recently awarded an Irish Arts Council Literature Bursary to work on a collection of memoir essays. His writing has been published in The Stinging Fly, Southword, Banshee, Best British Short Stories, Confingo, Sonder, Popshot, Exacting Clam; and online at 3:AM Magazine, Fictive Dream, Dead Drunk Dublin, Words for the Wild and Époque Press. His story ‘Fire Starter’ came second in 2022’s RTÉ Short Story Competition, and ‘Boys on Film’ was runner-up in this year’s Plaza Sudden Fiction Prize.