the sun is out and we are in london town, and everyone knows that when the sun is out in london town we too must be out. out in the sunshine, walking along narrow streets, headed for one of our favourites places in all the world, in one of our favourite cities in the whole wide world, in beautiful gritty, sometimes grimy, and altogether wonderful london.
“oh my, hasn’t it changed! it’s so much bigger now, and so busy!” we exclaim as we walk along the road, passed the stalls and shops and east-end cool types. we pass by the usual sundry we expect to find at markets, such as fresh bread, and bushels of flowers and summer berries so plump they dare us to bite into them. there are crafty things for the creative types, such as pretty paper and washi tapes. and organic juice and homemade jam.
there are various racks filled with various clothing, vintage tweed, faux fur and printed dresses from bygone eras, and denim jackets aplenty, because you can never have too many denim jackets. we see them, the locals, searching for hidden treasures. all collected and cool as east londoners are. eying up battered leather and prim hats, making the assessment on whether this item would go with that.
the girls wear battered denim and black lace, with crimson-coloured lips, and brogues or trainers, with unkempt hair, all loose and perfectly shaggy. some girls look like alexa chung, but less twee, with more edge. the boys wear skinny jeans but not in that rock-band-from-camden way. some wear chinos because it is summer and because boys in london wear chinos in the summer.
they lounge against shopfronts and spill out of pubs with their sometimes floppy hair sometimes hanging forward, loosely covering their eyes. they smoke cigarettes and hold pints and squint in the sunshine because last night was a big night and they’re still recovering. they huddle in groups, sometimes eating posh pub food, clustered together, sharing tales of the previous nights antics, laughing loudly so all eyes are upon them.
we feel their joy, you and i, because we have stories of last night too. and we remember the antics we used to get up to, when we lived here, in wonderfully gritty and often grimy east london. and even though we packed our best clothes, we sadly note that no matter how much we try, we’ll just never be quite as cool, not while we live in sydney.
hackney, e8 4ph, uk