Saturday, 12 November 2016

A right load of old flaneur. In which Bureboy and @Bain3z walk about a lot, drink beer and listen to Chris Packham and Lauren Lavern sitting behind a bee.

Recently (August isn't really recently is it?) oldest Bureboy son @Bain3z did his old man proud  with a weekend in the Smoke, blagging him along as his unofficial lens man at the quaintest of events, Caught by the River Thames. Reading it wasn't. Sublime in parts and cleverly curated as it happened.

On the early doors to Liverpool Street, low morning sun and dirty windows.

Strange how quickly it becomes OK to neck a pint at 9 am if everyone else is. I didn't, we made do with a Wetherspoon's brekkie for the price of that away day pint.

Not sure if Ipswich were away for the first day of the Champo season, if so this lone star was putting in a brave face in the mock finery of Hamilton Hall.

Striding out for Brick Lane and Rough Trade East. A long time since I bought Alternative Ulster from the shop in Ladbroke Grove. All brown paper bags and simple Rough Trade stamp then.

Books as well now, London Pride and what  I had come to the big city for. Pratley meets Andrews in Arcadia.

Coffee and a paper and the first links in the chain of coincidence and curation. Road sign for the A10, straight through to Kings Lynn as it happens, past the cathedral in the sky at Ely and  the Truman stack, towering over  the craft brewers and gin stills of hipster East End

Street life

Rep your endz

Going to London first as a very young boy to Greenwich and then weekly as a callow youth to haunt the Great Gear Market, Seditionaries, the  Lyceum and Electric Ballroom  two predominant memories were the toast like smell of I don't know what and the thick black grime we used to harvest from our noses and foreheads with our tube tickets as we dodged the skins and soul boys.

Way back then in about 1978 Pizzaland and McDonalds (more likely Wimpy) were exotica to us hicks from the sticks. Now it is the smell of coffee in ghastly styrene cups and fast and street food everywhere. All pop up and guerrilla dining.

He's seemimgly  too intent on getting home to scoff the lot to pay attention to the help setting up their real deal soul food

Tube tickets ?Pah. Contactless payment whisked us via Notting Hill Gate to a very different London by Putney Bridge. Fulham High Street and the New Kings Road. Reasonably priced pint in an empty Remembrance. We knew we were on the right track by the Boden and  ironic beards and hats and earnest picnic hampers.

Once in the possession of our all access laminates (actually yellow sticky press/plebs access) we stood back to soak in the heaving, throbbing festival vibe. Um. Quaint was what we thought

Another pint @Bain3z thought. Then food. We  passed on the gourmet burger

and went for authentic (but not artisan) "street"chain food. Hot, quick and  at £5/10 every 30 seconds for about 10 hours a nice little earner..

Into the Waterside tent for just in time to catch the introductory meandering about rivers and coincidence  and a solitary parka clad figure siting on a bench dawn to dusk. Pedalo Swans featured heavily. The braces toting curator John Andrews of Arcadia introduced us then to Melissa Harrison's anthologising about the seasons. Flaneurse?  I asked of my journo well read son @Bain3z. He rolled his eyes. Wikepedia has the  flâneur as a,"stroller", "lounger", "saunterer", or "loafer". The Guardian has the   flâneurse reclaiming the streets as vital transgresive work.

Chronicling the minutiae of city life? My arse.

Anyway, to the main event for me anyway. Letters from Arcadia and a yurt in French France. Stream of consciousness Pratley to the slower meanderings of pint and London loving Arcadian John Andrews. Think you lost some of them with the tench reminisces but just what I came for. Top drawer.

Idler book stall

Into the Bishops Palace for some art noir about the life around  Lakeside and The Dartford Crossing. David Essex and a cook up cup of tea in a shopping trolley my arse.

@Bain3z had subbed me for a night in  a hotel which was an unexpected and lovely surprise. We had a Greek/Turkish and I walked back watching The Metropolitan Police spectacularly failing a couple with significant mental health needs, got into bed and slept till 10am. Don't think I have ever done that before. Ever. Back to Quaint by the River day 2.

@Bain3z can't settle unless he has been in a bookshop if it is open. This one warranted a pint to think about it first.

Regular old London geezer answers his mobile: "(Boi) wah gwan?". Pure melting pot gold. Classic.

Books then.....

Another little coincidence weaved in.

Casually placed belongings?

On the trail of the Green Man, And a damp squib sex cult attempt.

I'll put this here

Cos Chris Packham and Lauren  Laverne are dots. In front of a big bee.

Found out a bit about some people's fathers and that yes,  Rick Astley was apparently the dickspawn I always suspected courtesy of Smash Hits.

Sorry Super Furries, we blew you out.

There is the Truman Tower again, peeking over the wall..

London pace

Essex grace (minus the clock towers)

Outward bound.

Classic pre-reserved seats coach C seat 50

Cattawade glazed

Next day far down the A10 from Hackney and Radio 4 's 9.45 reading: all about the jolly old Flaneurse. Coincidence?

Caught by the River also features that fine print smith and quince jelly eating top man John Richardson from Zanderland

I'm in that..

Thanks son. Did you ever file that copy?


  1. One of your finest posts Wak. Sounds like a great weekend. BTW, isn't it Petley ?

  2. Pesky spell check and predictive text. It has learnt fecker though.

  3. Good stuff BB. There's nowt like a little intellectual posing in West London. Great pics too. Chris pack ham was spelt wrong too, should be Prattham.

  4. Nothing wrong with Packham. Last time i heard him he was attacking landowners who want to shoot buzzards because they are eating pheasants they want to shoot. Eh ? They wheeled out that great cricketer but crasing bore ( and boor ) Botham to debate with him. Pah !

    1. He's still a pratt who abuses his impartial role at the BBC and they do nothing about it. Put him in with Jeremy Clarkson I say. Two pratts and twats together.

  5. Clarkson yes, he is a A1 cock.Packham is a wildlife presenter on TV. He's entitled to and should comment on something like the ridiculous "buzzards are eating the pheasants I want to shoot"issue. In my oh so humble opinion of course.