Plans, Trains and Lovers in Turmoil: the story of two

7 174055936_10217013696932974_6618515007772475858_nTwo lovers part on bad terms with an agreement to meet in a year to see if they have a future. Both travel to the meeting on the London Underground, but one is delayed without any way of letting the other know.

Failing to arrive in time could be plenty enough to seal their fate. Do they make it and what caused the rift to begin is told in a sequence of poems from the two perspectives.

The poems originally formed the main body of a review for Ian Arkley’s album ‘two’, the music inspiring a poetic narration rooted in my experience of using the Underground before leaving London at the end of the last century; the tracks remain available in this post, also providing the name for each verse. Continue reading

Meeting Edgar Broughton

The following is an account of true events: the names of those involved have been changed (including the dog’s).

My introduction to the Great Edgar Broughton started in a pub said to have once been frequented by highwayman Dick Turpin.

Aged fourteen, me and a couple of mates found we could get served in the Schooner, located—though no longer there—where Streatham High Road meets Hermitage Lane.

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Geezers and Goldfish Bowls

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Songs T Taught Me and the Mystery of Charlie Chaplin):

Spaces always look smaller when empty; something in this case helped big time by the stage being hidden behind a curtain. The area once full of merry drinkers now occupied by a solitary pool table, five ‘chaps‘ drinking and smoking round it.

It’d become one of those pubs where unless you knew someone already there, everyone there would assume you undercover plod worthy of a good stabbingup. The fact one of us was a loud Aussie doing nothing to allay suspicions; on the contrary, what better way for a rozzer to hide than appearing to be from a different country.


Last thing to do: turn tail and leave.


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Songs T Taught Me and the Mystery of Charlie Chaplin

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events (continued from: Horses for Courses):

In Croydon my attempts to give socks away were met with outright resistance:

‘He don’t like the ones with elastic at the top’

‘Too thick; will make his feet sweat’

Replying, ‘how about for another much loved and cared for family member, such as a cherished grandchild?’ did nothing to entice the taking of free socks.

There was nothing for it but the songs T had taught me:

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Horses for Courses

In the early 90s I worked London’s markets; the following is an account of true events:

“What you reckon?”

T looked at me across the table of the ‘workingmen’s café’ he’d chosen to meet in for ‘a bit of breakfast’.

He’d been running up and down Oxford Street selling out of a suitcase; just he hadn’t been running fast enough. A three person operation (seller/fake excited buyer/lookout), T had decided he had enough winning charm not to need the second—granted, I’d give him that—and enough cunning and sly to outwit plod: wrong; numerous times too.

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