For those of you who get a secret thrill from the elegant disgust-filled prose style Theodore Dalrymple’s adventures amongst the British lumpenproletariat is written up in why not check out newish blog Hackney Lookout ?
The writer resides somewhere in the depths of the London Borough of Hackney but doesn’t seem to like it that much. Not much fun for him but a blast of nostalgia for people who used to live there and take a vicarious pleasure in virtual revisiting at a distance.
Here he is explaining what it’s like to buy the wrong newspaper in North London:
Have you ever tried buying a copy of the Daily Telegraph at Seven Sisters tube station? Imagine asking for a copy of Dirty Teenage Sluts in an SPCK bookshop and you’ll be half-way to understanding how I felt. The guy behind the counter reached down furtively to a secret stash and handed one over, quickly covering it with a copy of The Guardian I had also asked for.
As someone who read Siegfried Sassoon’s Confessions of a Fox Hunting Man on the way to work on the old number 73 Routemaster I think I know how he feels.
Also, I’d forgotten about the sort of Hackney conversation he records below until looking through his archives earlier today:
Only slightly further up I was reaching for a fag when a woman came up to me. She was wearing a black bikini-top, a fluorescent-pink pencil skirt, black boots and a white baseball cap. Her left eye was half gummed up.
“You got a light?”
“Yes, somewhere, here you go.”
A few steps on. Tapping on my arm.
“I’m not a beggar. But…”
“… I’ve got 50p, and…”
“… I only need…”
“Oh, Jesus Christ, you people make me fucking sick.”
Ah, sweet memories. The conversational exchange was a perfect madeleine moment for this ex-Hackney dweller.
Best of all is what he’s done to the Hackney Council logo with Photoshop or some other electronic trickery. If you know what the official version looks like check out the blog version and give yourself a Friday night treat.
Thä say as Mestär Payisley is goanae makk a Greeance with thä Feeenyns till thwoake oor wee Ulstèr. Richt enuch, theres many hræk fowks as say as thäts a muckle shroat, an I can hae a wee shuckle a forstannin föör Þæt.
All the news that’s fit tae print on makkin greances wi the Feeenyns…..