Give me pen and paper and I can use words to carve out new worlds or dig out narratives from the past trapped under traffic and tarmac. The potentially empty time of a bus journey becomes a chance to shape stories or engage in imaginary archaeological examination of London’s streets. The 436 heading towards Paddington an opportunity to capture the thrash of a new idea trying to break through or the instant when the 10,000 lights of Hyde Park’s temporary fairground glimpsed through the swirl of falling snow seems to be illuminated storm front of some alien invasion.
With the right tools to scratch, I can steal any part of the city for you. From malkuthian stabs of brutal neon in Little Lebananon to the troll dark of the Harrow Road Bridge when it acts as a portal to Machen’s Baghdad-on-the-Thames. With ink and a surface to write on, I can trap apple smoke genies as they escape from pavement shisha or record the boiling hiss as cold rain hits the glass of the lights embedded in the towpath.
No writer living in London should ever face a blank moment. Beyond the opportunities for the city to distract and entertain, it offers up a constant rush of stories and flashes for you to snatch like a Dickensian cartarista. As long as you avoid laziness, you can lift every word you need and find every gate into Sion whilst travelling from SE11 to W2.