Goodbye Harlesden

Ahhhh, blogging. It’s been three weeks since my last…..tempted to say confession.  (Actually, its been about thirty years since my last confession to a priest.)  No, it’s been over three weeks since my last post, the longest gap since I started blogging. The reason is that I’ve been having a few housing problems recently, and it’s been so cold and soggy outside that I have not ventured out much. I’ve been at home, staring at the sleet and odd bouts of snow. I have been deep in edits of my next book/memoir and I have been arranging to move house, all the way across to Kensal Rise at the end of March.

I’ll be leaving Harlesen!  I’ve been living here for three years. Wow, what an adventure. In Harlesden I worte two books, lived with a newborne baby,  my God-daughter Lois, a poet, Neil Rollinson, and now Kina, a tennis coach. I ran a small writing group around the kitchen table, grew tomatoes, peppers and fresh herbs in the backyard, watched various families of foxes come and go, survived an invasion of bed bugs and numerous mouse attacks. It has been a lively three years.

I will be leaving One Pound Man, Mr Patty, the Jam Down Bakery (best meat loaf and jerk chicken in london), the Misty Moon, the Brazillian caf on the corner. I will be leaving Way to Save Internatonal Supermarket, open 24/7, where I can buy everything from cactus juice to Polish bread, to a hookah pipe. I will say goodbye to the men who run the fish-monger’s shop. No more fresh mackerel, sea bass, red snapper. No more avocados like at home in Trinidad. I will be leaving the casinos and human hair shops and numerous fried chicken joints, Dracual Land, and people barbeque-ing on their front steps in summer.

I will say goodbye to the Christian evangelists who take to the clock tower square every Saturday afternoon with their guitars and PAs.  And no more Nation of Islam. No more chaos in the streets. Goodbye to Peacocks.

I will miss Harlesden. It has been the most ethnically diverse part of London I have ever seen, let alone lived in. There are no Starbucks here, no chain stores. It has the feel of a Victorian high street: colourful,  indiviual, competative, small businesses vying for your attention.  There is  a big park with a bandtsand and great cafe, and playing fields, a good gymn. I have really lived in this part of London and appreciate its new-old feel. I will miss the extreme eccentricty of this small outpost, its personalities: Deepak, the King, Mr Campbell, (One Pound Man), Mr Hussein, my neighbour who does yoga on the lawn. I will miss Rose Rouse being my neighbour, and her tarot readings, my friend Katy Lynton’s drop-bys for coffee, tea, gossip.

I’m moving in with Curly. Just one neighburhood over. It will be spring.  A new time. New thoughts, a new book to write too.


~ by moniqueroffey on February 25, 2010.

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