Showing posts from September, 2014

The ones that got away

London slips away behind us as we head north and east.   Back out through suburbs served and invented by the tube.   Slow traffic.   Red light disappointment.   Green light anticipation. Creeping past houses with small gardens and smart cars.   Paused before shops with ghost signs, showing generations of economic change; markers of waves of migration that has made this place what it is today.    How easy would it be to map the history of London by looking at the names of shop owners and the brands of the products they sell? Post war migration, postcolonial economics, suburban decay and gentrification told through shop fronts and label fonts.   We move out past the ring fence of the M25:   a boundary in both directions.   How many of those inside look beyond the pale to greener lands – an escape to the country – and how many outside look inwards towards activity, jobs and mythically lined streets.   Sitting in stationary traffic brings far more questions than answer