Parliament Hill Caff

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Parliament Hill is one of the London Mounds identified by E.O. Gordon in ‘Prehistoric London…’
Maiden Lane, now York Way, led the way from Penton Mound which was the journey we took on the No.214 bus all hot and bothered.
The mounds would have been used in pagan times as places of congregation, ritual and play. And there we were splashing around in the paddling pool and chasing someone’s pet rabbit.

Remapping High Wycombe and BS Johnson

Haven’t blogged here for a while because I’ve been occupied with another project in High Wycombe http://remappinghighwycombe.blogspot.com. I’ve been working with my sister carrying out a psychogeographical survey of the town, doing various derives and some straightforward walks. It threw up another link in my ‘Autopobiography': writer B.S. Johnson who lived in Claremont Square, Islington and also Gordon Road, High Wycombe. I was reading his novel ‘Albert Angelo’ for its topographical descriptions of Islington when someone emailed me to tell me that his book ‘Trawl’ (also in his ‘Omnibus’) had a long description of parts of High Wycombe.
We capped off the project with a long walk circumnavigating the town in the spirit of Iain Sinclair’s ‘London Orbital’ and Andrew Kotting’s ‘Galivant’ sending back 10 second video clips via mobile phone to an installation in the town centre where they were displayed on a screen. This worked really well and is something we may repeat.
But now I can return to the Islington streets, tracking their moods and atmospheres, and anything else that takes my fancy.

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Through Temple Bar into Paternoster Square. There’s a Mussolini-like modernism about it. Neo-classical fascist. It’s a cold Sunday night and a few souls criss-cross the asymmetrical space, it could be Rimini. I feel like a shape in a Di Chirico painting. It is ghostly and out-of-place which fits this city of dislocation. I’m pulled in strange directions from one side of the square to another, then under a portico which has sprouted concrete umbrellas from its ceiling.

I escape the vortex inside Paternoster Square and find myself looking into Hat and Mitre Court EC1, 10 yards long, chain-link gate, fragment of mediaeval street plan. Not a soul around. Brewhouse Yard, gleaming new and empty. The news from Clerkenwell is that loft development kills the street. The only flaneur round here is the deli of that name on Farringdon Road.

At Borat’s shop a 12-year old talks into his mobile phone. “That’s CID just gone past”.
“How can you tell?”. “I know, right”. They’re in a heightened state. Training their Bull Terrier to attack. Small time criminals in embryo.

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