The Peculiar wait is over

bicycle near Lambeth Bridge by Matt HaynesThe arrival of issue 11 of Smoke (a London peculiar) means I can get up from under the letterbox.

This issue, Matt Haynes tips over some bins in Wapping, Adam Zucker is mistaken for a Canadian on the Central Line, there’s a picture of a monstrous cyclist made of foliage next to Lambeth Bridge. Bus of the month is the 108. London’s campest statue is in the Port of London Authority Building, Trinity Square. I’m still laughing at ‘Things Not To Do In The Isle Of Dogs’ (first I read it and though “That is not at all funny”, then I saw the picture). The fiction is always much better than it looks at first – Tricity Bendix always looks good to start with.

As I stare at the pixelated head of this issue’s London’s Ugliest Dog, I’m renewing my pledge to write a piece. Nobody ever writes of Barkingside. I’ll mention how the Central Line enfolds us and the liminal bridge on Forest Road keeps us from Essex. The bed hair of the new Fairlop Oak and the spurious reckoning of the More Than A Farmshop retail entity on far side of the tracks. The sinister relocation of the zebra crossing near the school so it’s closer to the roundabout exit. The best pitta in the world (Yossi’s). The library roof. The St Bernards who have do their rescue training at Fairlop water because they’re banished from Britain’s beaches. There’s no other place for this stuff but Smoke.

I won’t write about the clairvoyant shop because it’s vanished.

If you just take out a little subscription to Smoke, Matt Haynes won’t have to get a distributor any more and neither will he have to cycle to foreign places (Harrow) with a box on this handlebars. It’s a third way.

Matt, Jude I don’t mind if it’s late – don’t get a distributor if you don’t want to. I’ll be ok under the letterbox – another Matt brings food in the evening and something new to read.

Oh – you did.


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