onionbagblog
 
Going to the Chapel
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onionbag blogger
Wednesday 1 February, 2006


Police and Thieves


And so as promised, here's Part II of the Sunday afternoon cycling / photography session. Having left the Bloomsbury Set, I cycled up through Holborn, took a sharp right up the Grays Inn Road (home of corporate work bullying - first hand evidence) and then five minutes later and I was well away from familiar territory, eyeball to eyeball with the Islington set.


Too bourgeoisie for the Shoreditch sprayer

Upper Street is OK actually. It's got a lovely retro Mac shop where you can pick up Macintosh Classics for under fifty quid. For what purpose exactly I'm not sure. You need at least a 1024*768 screen res to peruse up any decent porn.

But I wasn't really in N1 to rub shoulders with the North London latte knobbers. Chapel Market was my destination, once again for a The Way We See It shoot. Walthamstow aside, it's one of the longest stretches of market in London, and is about as un-Islington as pie 'n mash.

All types of tat is on sale, even on a late Sunday afternoon. I timed my trip to perfection; just enough light left in the sky to avoid tinkering with the ISO levels, and an emptying market so as not to raise suspicion as I pointed my lens in all the places where it's not welcome.

I walked the length of the market, mainly taking in all the graffiti. This may be North London but there wasn't a Banksy in sight. Too bourgeoisie for the Shoreditch sprayer. The Banksy book incidentally is well worth a flick through. mrs onionbagblogger managed to blag one at work. At twenty quid though and with a distinctly coffee table feel to it, the revolution is all in the design, not the way of life.

I ended up at my favourite curry location in the whole of London: The Chapel Market Vegetarian Curry house. Three quid for an eat-as-much-as-you-like buffet, free tap water to wash it all down with as well. It's the kind of establishment that is frequented by students, 'people that don't speak English' and bloggers wanting their fill before attempting the cycle ride back down South.

Two and a half platefuls later and I paid up. Three quid is too pikey. I handed the good man a fiver and didn't hang around for any change.

Back at onionbagblog HQ and the photos had a similar cheaper than chips feel to them. Not a lot of life, a little too generic. But more life than the Bloomsbury set, and strangely for North London, considerably cheaper as well.

Chapel Market, 01/02/06



Chapel Market, 01/02/06



Chapel Market, 01/02/06



Chapel Market, 01/02/06



Chapel Market, 01/02/06



Chapel Market, 01/02/06


Crap Picture Gallery (click on thumbs to see large image)

Chapel Market, 01/02/06 Chapel Market, 01/02/06 Chapel Market, 01/02/06 Chapel Market, 01/02/06 Chapel Market, 01/02/06

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Snappy
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onionbag blogger
Monday 30 January, 2006


Queen Square, WC1


A beautiful, crisp Sunday afternoon in late January. And so did I decide to get sozzled in my poncey local bar and grill actually quite decent and rather friendly upmarket SW8 boozer watching an afternoon of FA Cup action, or pedal off towards town for an afternoon of photography?

Blue sky days are for photos, not football. West it was.

Islington - Eek!

Vauxhall Bridge was truly beautiful with Battersea Power Station reflecting in the Old Father at full tide. But tide and time wait for no man. Nothing to do with the knobber Petrol Heads as I headed towards Westminster who (wrongly) thought that they could get the better of a Man and his Marin; nope, thanks to my inability to charge up the seven inch super zoom the night before, my departure time was delayed by an hour.

Even with the sun now setting sometime around 5pm, I needed half an hour of daylight like Jeremy Clarkson needs a good punch in the face. My destination was Queen Square just off Bloomsbury, another North London location set by the wonderful The Way We See It.

After an altercation with a cabbie arsehole at Aldwych ('can't you afford a facking car?' '...can't you afford facking driving lessons?') and the best bit of my new Motown compilation was kicking in on the Pod as I hit Kingsway. Too much bike seat shuffling, not enough street name attention. Maybe the cabbie arsehole was correct after all? I couldn't hear him to be honest - too much Marvelettes action on the Marin.

I was looking for somewhere to the left of Bloomsbury Square. But like that nice Dave Cameron, I got my lefts and rights mixed up. We've been teaching Year 5 the skills of map reading back at base. Bugger - I should have been paying attention.

A bit of ducking and diving here and there and I had lost ten minutes of valuable blue sky photography time.

My final resting place of Queen Square was so so. Mainly residential, mainly North London, mainly hey noney noney noney.

Ninety shots later and my mantra of 10% photography (shoot 100 and ten will be half-decent) was more or less there.

Time to move on. With the blue sky rapidly fading I must have been mad to have headed further north. Islington to be exact. Eek. This is far from onionbagblog territory. Would I succumb to the North London knobber-ness and buy a latte? Would my cut off combats automatically become some ridiculous looking pair of jeans? And what of the cabbies? Would they become even more cartoon like as I cycled up towards Mr Tony's patch?

The truth is far less exciting, but no doubt it will fill a space here tomorrow.

Queen Square, WC1



Queen Square, WC1



Crap Picture Gallery (click on thumbs to see large image)

Queen Square, 30/01/06 Queen Square, 30/01/06 Queen Square, 30/01/06 Queen Square, 30/01/06 Queen Square, 30/01/06

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Gravy Train
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onionbag blogger
Sunday 29 January, 2006


More cocktail crap this weekend. If I'm not careful then I'll soon be swanning around South London in a smoking jacket and perving at any passing females wearing a short skirt. Mmm - I'm halfway there to be honest.

No Oxo Tower action

Cocktails are not my tipple of choice. There's a huge gulf of taste, style and social class (yes - even getting wankered has a class consciousness aspect to it) between sipping a Sea Breeze and getting shit faced on ten pints of stout. I was the one left wondering why my booze tasted bloody awful on Friday night. Class solidarity wasn't part of the deal.

But school classes were. The occasion was a work booze up (of sorts, but I'll spare you the finer details.) Having not been too impressed with the crappy South London cocktail scene last weekend, we went west as I took some female colleagues up the Oxo Tower, so to speak.

OK - it was still in South London, but the Knobber:Class Warrior ratio was 200:1 and so in cocktail terms it technically counts as North London konbber land.

I even made the effort to get dressed up for the occasion. I may have been Paul Weller circa '84, but the new (old Mod) look has to be an improvement on the distinctly non-cocktail friendly cut off combats.

It was all a bit of a strange one. The class warrior within was awakened at exactly 11pm on Friday night. Having taken the females up the Oxo Tower, a night cap was in order. My round, and so what if I was about to blow my entire earnings for the day on some crappy cocktails? Speculate to accumulate, and there was the possibility of further blowing action later on in the evening.

Mr Bar Man was halfway through 'preparing' the round (he was twatting about with some silly shaker) when the Bar Manager intervened and halted the whole affair.

'I'm sorry Sir, it' just turned past 11pm and we can no longer serve you.'

And so I was left stranded, mid-round, having to explain to three of the five females that I couldn't provide them with some exceedingly distasteful fluid that they would either spit or swallow and in all truth, probably wouldn't really enjoy the whole oral experience anyway.

Never mind - I have a plan B, love...

Fucking unbelievable! Pulling out midway through a round must be only possible in a poncey South North London cocktail bar. It's like blowing for full time in the FA Cup Final just before a penalty kick is taken; it's the equivalent of paying full price for a swim at Brixton Rec as you are served at five past four (despite arriving at quarter to three but having to suffer the shitty queuing system at the till); it's the same as shagging someone up the arse but then withdrawing as you remember that Eastenders is about to start.

The evening fell apart from here onwards. 'I demand to have some booze,' etc, but I ended up on the last tube home.

And no Oxo Tower action there, either.
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Time Passages
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onionbag blogger
Friday 27 January, 2006


And so I've been bogged down elsewhere and been too busy to blog. And it's been bloody brilliant too.

In no particular order, I've been...

having far too much fun at work, having even more fun out of work hours with work people, re-discovering my love of all things Mod clothing related, buying far too many Mod clothing related items online, compiling (and having compiled for me) some seriously shit hot Motown mp3 compilations, planning a half term cycling holiday in Devon, dreaming (and then seriously considering) cycling Le Tour de France over the summer holidays (not the real race, but, you know,) getting my grubby hands on some extremely rare Style Council bootlegs, playing my extremely rare Style Council bootlegs all the bloody time - on the daily commute, at morning break in the smoker's shed, Sainsbury's, exchanging correspondence regarding the ongoing de Menezes whitewash with knobbers in authority, buying on eBay a bargain Style Council double DVD, watching the bargain Style Council double DVD in bed, much to the annoyance of mrs onionbagblogger, loving the gym for the first time in about five years, loving even more the ability to lose myself as the weekend runs become ever longer and my addiction to my iPod increases (you've run around Clap'ham Common THREE times? Hell - may as well go around once again...), house hunting, putting in offers on houses, being gazumped, highly comical school trips that I really couldn't write about, silly stretching for my knackered knee (which looks about as stable as the LibDems do right now), worrying that I'm turning into Dot Cotton and drinking cups of tea twice an hour, every hour.

In the meantime Dulwich Hamlet have lost a Manager, I've lost all interest in ice hockey (been on thin ice for a few years if I'm being honest) and as I approach the mid-way point in my current something-something life cycle, I've come to appreciate and understand the limitations of age. I may not be able to run a 100m sprint anymore (although I still give the kids a good run for their money at Brixton Rec 5-a-side,) but I'm becoming something of a marathon man.

Both physically and metaphorically.

See you around.
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Crap Match Report
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onionbag blogger
Tuesday 24 January, 2006


Streatham Redskins 1 Invicta Dynamos 5, 22/01/06

It's behind you!


The old High Road rink housed the biggest crowd of the season so far on Sunday night with the visit of high flying Invicta Dynamos. That's all very well but quality is always preferable to quantity. You may have a rink full of paying fans, but half of them have the combined musical rhythm of a dead dormouse with the continual bashing of the drums.

The Redskins were rumbled

The first period was played at great pace. A succession of cross checks inflicted by the away team were finally penalised, only for Adam Smith to slot home a short handed effort at 6:03. Did someone mention the Invisible Hand?

Streatham's line changes were far from smooth and they struggled to continue with the attacking hockey played in the first few minutes. The Redskins had been rumbled and once again they failed to take advantage of a powerplay opportunity, allowing Andy Smith to score a second short handed goal for Invicta at 18:26.

The first period break saw ex-Streatham favourite Perry Richardson showing us all how the Great Dynamos School of Hockey has improved his understanding of the game: Plenty of stretching, but don't forget to have a crafty fag outside the locker room. Shame the Great Dynamos School of Hockey doesn't teach music to the supporters.

A stray puck almost took my head off at the start of the second period. From Medway With Love as an away player tried to put it up my five hole. You know where you can stick it, preferably as far away from South London as possible.

Streatham found the going tough in the second. They failed to clear their own defensive zone, as Adam Smith made it 3:0 at 26:45. A fourth followed at 33:04 with some slack defending from Streatham allowing Alex Shaw to unleash an unstoppable slap shot. A minute later and it was 5:0 with a Donald Gagnon wrist shot.

Time for a Streatham time out.

With six seconds remaining in the second period, Streatham finally had some hope as Shane Walsh sounded out the Redskins goal horn after a rare slip up in the Dynamos D.

Streatham were finally settled in the third, finding the time to play a thoughtful, passing game. They controlled the possession but couldn't place the puck on target.

Seven minutes into the period and the most embarrassing moment of the weekend surfaced in South London; it involved music but for once not the barmy old Dynamos bird banging her drum. Hearing the bloody Birdie Song blasting out around a freezing cold South London ice rink on a Sunday night is a truly surreal experience. I pinched myself, but sadly this was no dream. Plus Dynamos were still winning 5-1 as well, a score that remained up until the final buzzer.

crap match report rating:



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



Redskins 1 Dynamos 5, 22/01/06



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I LOVE StockwellSW8 Six Months on
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onionbag blogger
Monday 23 January, 2006


We WILL Remember


Six months ago this week saw Jean Charles de Menezes shot dead at Stockwell tube station, wrongly mistaken by the Met Police as a suicide bomber. It's been a strange six months around SW8. The mainstream knobber media whores moved on less than a week later, always preferring the chase rather than the kill. An IPCC report was commissioned, and finally completed last week as a timely anniversary approached. But the good 'ol British judicial system saw no reason as to why the de Menezes family could see it.

SW8 is NOT a knobber free zone

Stockwell meanwhile has emerged out of a surreal six months, still mourning for what took place underground, but all the more stronger. Sure there has been divisions, but I've come to realise that's there no such thing as a knobber-free hiding place. Especially on your own patch.

onionbagblog is just that - not a knobber-free hiding place but a blog where a lone SW8 resident gets to bang on about all things local. In no way do I represent Stockwell, nor would I want to either. But there has been a very visible coming together of some sort of community feeling following the de Menezes killing. Local meetings have seen dialogue between groups and individuals whose previous only contact would have been queuing up to buy milk from Costcutters next to the tube. And yes, this is the first time that one of my neighbours has appeared in a picture on onionbagblog.

Stockwell is no longer that place where the Northern Line meets the Victoria Line. It is firmly mapped as a place where the Met Police fucked up and an innocent man was caught in the crossfire of police paranoia, not helped by the mainstream knobber media whores who were looking for folk devils post July 7th.

And so on Sunday morning, Stockwell remembered Jean Charles. That's not strictly true - some local people, some not-so-local people converged outside the tube station to pay their respects. Vest Man was oblivious to it all, sitting outside onionbagblog HQ in his, um, vest, just as another cold snap came to Stockwell. The ticket touts still mingled outside the tube station, not so much paying their respect, but momentarily shutting up shot. Dear Old Doreen was probably still stalking South Lambeth Road looking for me.

But for a couple of hundred people or so, those balmy late days in July were firmly back on the agenda. As with all things Stockwell, there was a sense of make it up as you go along. We assembled outside the makeshift de Menezes memorial (in truth an MFI book cabinet, lovingly attended each week by sympathisers) and then... waited.

A lone strummer plucked away at a few chords, much to the disbelief (and anger) of the returning mainstream knobber media whores. They were no doubt expecting some celeb-endorsed speech and a perfect piece to camera. Instead they got a slightly cheesy hippy busking for the Man from Brazil.

The sun shone brilliantly at the agreed hour of 1pm, and for a very short period of time, the distance between Brazil and Stockwell didn't seem that far. As has happened before, the quest for justice for Jean Charles wasn't the only item on the agenda. Palestine placards were raised, and mainstream photographers took photos of them. After a peaceful personal moment remembering how the past six months has changed MY Stockwell, I took photographs of the mainstream photographers.

'What the fuck are you doing?' asked the agency boys.

'...taking photos,' came the reply.

They still don't understand.

A number of car horns beeped as they headed up the Clap'ham Road. A No 2 bus beeped the loudest, a symbol of Jean Charles' final few moments in SW8.

After half an hour or so I walked past the Stockwell Memorial Gardens. The whitewashed empty patch where Jean Charles was remembered reflected back in the brilliant January sunshine. You may remember how my local knobber Councillors took it upon themselves to remove an officially commissioned remembrance to Mr de Menezes without any public consultation. No rational public explanation has yet been given, although I note that the knobbers are up for re-election in a few months time.

My SW8 sources tell me that Lambeth Council has officially approached Brian the Mural Man to come up with a new design 'appropriate to the area' to replace the whitewashed Brazilian flag. Good old Brian; a four page document was despatched back, outlining his professional credentials to undertake the commission.

The final sentence was:

'I propose to paint a Brazilian flag.'

We WILL remember.

Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06

Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06

Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06

Crap Picture Gallery (click on thumbs to see large image)



Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06 Stockwell Tube Station, 22/01/06

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