Saturday 4th February, 2023

To Brixton Rec! …early on Saturday morning for a swim. I think my knackered calf muscle is no longer knackered, and so ParkRun was an option. But I had some credit left on my GLL account, and ParkRun can be a pain. There is no such thing as a bad swim.

I saw the Old School Brixton Preacher Man walking towards the tube shortly before 8am. Most of those old faces going back 30 years or so have long since disappeared. That’s a polite way of saying they’ve probably died.

Alabama 3 Beardy Man Cover Star, Racist BMX Boy selling his rave tapes, charming woman selling her animal pictures. All GAWN, I tell you. GAWN. But the Old School Brixton Preacher Man remains a constant.

Also still very much around is the Saturday morning squash crowd at the Rec. It’s quite a social scene and has been taking place now for generations. You know you’ve arrived at the Rec when you hear the screech of trainers and the sound of a rubber ball being bounced off a wall.

There was also something of a racket coming from the pool as I started to get changed. Blimey, that’s a bit early for the kid’s Saturday morning swimming lessons, I thought. Plenty of shrieking and some very loud applause. It sounded like a poolside presentation was taking place.

I turned the corner and entered poolside. The teaching pool had been transformed into some form of a church. Baptisms were taking place. Full DUNKING baptisms. Blimey. That’s something you don’t get back in the UKIP Racist Spa in the bloody Estuary Wilds.

The pool temperature was a little chilled. It was fine for swimming, but I’m not sure about standing around waist deep and praising the Lord. It wasn’t the most tranquil of swims, but 1km was ticked off, leaving me as ever BUZZING of me tits. Hallelujah!

I had a quick turnaround back in the flat, and then out went the shout of To South Ken! I had a mid-morning date with R at The Design Museum. The route around the back of Horseferry Road was interesting. There was a queue of around 30 punters for the Regency Cafe.

I cycled on around the tourist hell of Charlie’s new gaff, and then through Hyde Park. The stretch adjacent to the Albert Hall had what must have been twenty football pitches set up with kids having some training. They were all wearing the same orange tops. It was most impressive.

I saw some early snowdrops appearing around the edges of the Park. Another Beast from the East is possibly on its way next week.

R was waiting for me outside The Design Museum. We had agreed to see Yinka Ilori’s Parables for Happiness exhibition. I knew nothing of the Nigerian artist. Or at least that’s what I thought before taking a look at some of his beautiful colour designs.

Ah, look. There’s the wrap for the Thesally Road bridge around the back of Battersea. I cycled through there last week. Wait. Isn’t that the Summer Pavilion at the Dulwich Picture Gallery from a few years back? We all live in a Yinka Ilori world, and it’s a rather wonderful world in which to live.

We spent a little time also looking around the other exhibits at The Design Museum. There was an original Westwood Seditionaries top. I thought it looked quite ugly, but then punk never was meant to be candy floss on the eye.

There was an old copy of The Face on show. The front cover strapline boasted The Clash, Dexy’s, PiL, Madness and The Specials. It was pretty much the perfect magazine cover.

It was also good to see a Moulton space frame suspended from the ceiling. R asked me how my Moulton was getting along. Which one? I am currently Moulton-less. I had a head count, and realised that five Moutons have passed through my bicycle shed in the past fifteen years.


We did a brief charity shop trawl around South Ken, and then cycled over to Notting Hill for the Music Exchange shop. There was some CRAZY Waitangi Day NZ celebrations taking place. It was more like an mass organised pub crawl. The young folk had attracted interest from the Met.

We had a clear division in the Music Exchange. R went upstairs for the cassettes, I stayed at ground level on a CD trawl. I was rewarded with The Pop Group, RATM, The The, Avalanches, Tears for Fears, The Waterboys and some Patsy Cline. Yours for £12.

Portobello was next on our radar. Odyssey’s Back To My Roots was playing in one charity shop. R started to sing along. A complete random woman joined in, adding:

“I’m lifting my boobs, going back to my roots.”

My kinda girl.

I had the FIND OF THE CENTURY with The Smile album priced at 50p. It’s going for around £30 on eBay.

It was a decent catch up with R. Our parting act was not to embarrass ourselves in a rare underground public toilet that was still open at Portobello.

He went that way, and then I went: To Whitechapel! Again!

I planned a crosstown bicycle ride for a bit of unfinished business over in E1. My route followed the river and out east. I stopped at Cable Street to take in the marvel of the mural.

There was an ACE old service tunnel that now forms part of a Quietway as you approach Shadwell. I also noticed a number of yoof riding Lime bikes rather slowly. They were making a grating noise and looked bloody hard work for an electric. Ah – so you can just grab a free ride and knacker the bicycle whilst you’re at it.

I passed a Jack the Ripper tour in full flow. Some people are very odd.

The reason for my return out east was to hopefully buy a Mac Magic Mouse I saw earlier in the week in a charity shop. It was priced ridiculously at a fiver. £60 would seem more appropriate. Of course it had already been sold. Never dither on a bargain. Comrades.

I also wanted to pick up a second waistcoat from the same shop I bought one from on Wednesday. I love the style and feel, and fancied a back up in a different colour. Job’s a good ‘un.

The light was fading, and so I fired up the Beeline Velo 2 and plotted a route back to SW8. I crossed at Southwark, something that is now not so rare these days.

The Beeline delivered me around the back of Newport Street Gallery, and then towards The Oval. The Gas-holder development has made a tremendous amount of progress since the summer months.

My main task for Saturday evening was to remember to cancel the Now TV deal. My BT package is offering this as of Sunday. I was paying £19.99 directly with Now. It was due to increase to the ‘offer’ price of £26. BT offered me £20.

I walked through around half a dozen screens saying do you want cancel? Do you REALLY want to cancel? YES I chuffing do.

What can we do to make you stay? How about another six months of £19.99?

Capitalism is shit, Comrades.

Links for Saturday 4th February, 2023

“Our commission will rethink how we can use land for the benefit of local people”

Says Lab Cllr whose local party was responsible for the #Heygate social cleansing project #Southwark

“Journos are oblivious. Can’t get their attention. To a large extent Google already owns the web. And they are throwing their weight around in much more consequential ways than twitter. But Google is invisible to the press.”

Dave Winer on Twitter API subscription