Tuesday, July 19, 2005


I've just returned from a long weekend break in the south of france. It reached 45 degrees celsius each day, was the epitomy of tranquil, and made me realise what hell i put myself through each day just in order to get to work. And then we unfortunately had to come home to rush hour, 'trains not running', London. Things have to change pretty soon.

Needless to say, despite the help of a neighbour to keep the plants watered, most things were lurching like thirsty camels. The tomatoes were especially desperate, and some had even dropped to the floor. And to top it all, the squirrel had launched a daylight raid on our bird feeder and it was demolished, lying in pieces around the garden.

It's good to be back.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Crystal Palaciano

My courgette plants are taking over. If I ever needed a bigger plot, then it's now, for the poor leeks are being overrun. My plot currently looks like a jungle due to the huge leaves spreading out like a paddle-handed traffic cop. Oh! the joys of only having a small bit of earth.

The tomatoes, however are looking grand for being huge and all-dominant. They can take over as much as they like, if only because i know they block the neighbour's view, and she will hate me for it even more. And even my basil is coming along in leaps and bounds. Let it be known, that if my olive tree really does produce proper olives - which are currently tiny but are definitely there - then there truly will be a small corner of Crystal Palace that's forever Italy.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Flowers, birds and bombs

I woke up this morning to see a bright yellow flower beaming out at me from a courgette plant. It was beautiful, and looked like something from Hawaii, not downtown Crystal Palace. I then saw the birds as usual, tweetering happily on the sunflower seeds. Despite it drizzling, they seemed totally non-plussed. It was a joy. And then i jumped on a train and headed for work.

As much as people moan about the commute or whinge about the city being an unfriendly place, secretly everyone who lives and works here loves the place. I don't spend much time chatting to my fellow commuters, but we all see each other every day. Faces become as as much a part of the scenery as Battersea Power Station or the London Eye, which I travel past each morning and evening. We are London.

I reached Victoria easily enough, but then found all the tubes were down. The buses were rammed so I walked; hundreds of people were doing the same. Police cars were everywhere. The Arcade Fire were singing of impending doom on my mp3 player. Helicopters were in the air. Something was happening. When I eventually got to the office and saw pictures on Sky news of an explosion, it all hit home. London had been hit.

The bombs hit London. They hit people like me. All people doing exactly the same as what I do, day in day out. Even though I was lucky not to be involved, i know I'm a part of this great living breathing entity of london, and somebody's just punched it square in the face. And it hurts.