Wednesday, January 18, 2006


I could barely crawl out of bed this morning, which is always a sign of a night well enjoyed. I was out at the annual South London blogmeet.

We gathered at the Morrison's supermarket car park, Erith, at 2.30 am. What a meeting of the minds it was! Topics discussed included whether or not the Iran situation could escalate out of control, the River Cafe recipes in the Saturday Guardian, the new licensing laws, people whose fucking car alarms go off at all hours of the day, how little Chantelle is a lovely girl and how there are no sides to her and how she will probably go on to win it now, whether avian 'flu poses a real threat to anyone in South London, whether or not Jack Douglas is still alive, how you can get tins of tomato puree for 7p in Asda and how Shane Ward's song has that fucking predictable key change where the TOTP audience all whoop with glee, like all them sort of songs have. It got a bit confusing at times because the more people drank, the more they talked over each other.

There was much discussion of the impending release of the Lewisham Roof Felters Choir's version of Minnie Ripperton's Lovin' You.

Many thanks must go out to Harvey (retired), formerly of Harvey's Fish Bar, Erith Road, Bexleyheath, who laid on the catering - three jars of pickled eggs and numerous saveloy (is the plural saveloys? Savelii?). The booze and fags came courtesy of that off license in Barnehurst whose name escapes me. Thanks all round, folks!

I'm happy to report that arrests were down by 37 per cent on last year's figures, which is very encouraging.

I can confidently say that the South London bloggers can now hold their own up against those North London toffs. Who are they all anyway - they all say "ooh, well I work in publishing actually" (i.e., on a secondhand bookstall on a market) or "ooh, I'm in the media actually" (i.e., continuity announcer on UK Gold Plus One Hour).

The Saaarfff will rise again.

Bollocks! North London rules. Pickled eggs? Pah! We have frites et donor dans le pitta at our bashes. And I do know someone who works for Toni&Guy magazine
Well I must say that your Sarf London blogmeet was a major topic of conversation in the Kentish Town Pizza Express (more rocket salad? Don't mind if I do) last night.

Can't be long before the massed armies gather along the banks of the Thames for the Final Reckoning. I've put in a special order to Carluccio's for some hand-turned Umbrian catapults designed especially for the throwing of boiling extra virgin olive oil.
Martin - despite living here for nearly ten years I haven't bothered to find out the difference between north and south, mainly because travelling from one end of London to another seems to take about half a day. Easier to just deal in stereotypes. I've only eaten one pickled egg the whole time I've been here ...

Patroclus - it sounds like a re-enactment of that Benny Hill song. The cheeky South London urchins will respond with jellied eels, mash and liquor blasted from cannons hand-turned by some bloke in a lock-up off of the Roman Road (see the bit above about dealing in stereotypes)
Pickled eggs are weird.

I get cravings for them when pissed.
Yank invader here!
I have never in my life eaten a pickled egg. When I visit relatives in New York and we go out, I see them floating around in big jars, looking like little alien eggs. I'm not a picky eater, as my large butt and thighs will attest, but these things scare me! Maybe I've watched too many bad sci-fi flicks.
As to writing?
I'm a legend in my own mind!
The Cheesemeister
... I slave away at the keyboard for days on end, avoiding sleep, never eating, knocking back the Jack Daniels, smoking crack, just waiting for the inspiration to creep up on me. Words pour out of me like blood and guts and I produce a masterpiece about the South London blogmeet. What do you all pick up on? Pickled eggs. I'm too sensitive for this world.

As I said, I've only eaten the one pickled egg and it wasn't a memorable experience, but then I was pissed at the time. They do look disturbing in those big jars though ...
Good lord. I had no idea all this was going on. As a former resident of both South (Tooting, Colliers Wood, Camberwell) London and North (Muswell Hill, Highgate) London I feel duty bound to offer my tuppenyworth. Then you can all shout at me.

The North has better views. And better parks. It also has a tube system. Going against it is Arsenal Football Club, but I'm a Chelsea supporter so you'd expect me to say that. I'm not sure Chelsea is either North or South.

Sarf London on the other hand has...

No. Can't think of a thing.

Crystal Palace? Don't make me larf.

Hoping this has contributed to a lively and ongoing debate.

bfzhz. The sound of Mark Gamon stirring.
Mark - I was hoping to start a war of words, but (a) no one can be bothered and (b) it would be unfair, as there are about 20 million bloggers in North London and exactly 9 in South London.

I could write with more authority about the merits of North or South Staffordshire anyway.
Talke Pits.
End of argument.

knoqru - what would you do if someone suggested that Cheshire was more desirable that Staffordshire?
I would have to plump for Hazel Slade or Hednesford Hills, not because they would be areas of outstanding natural beauty for anyone else but for the crass reason that they remind me of home and summer days out when I was a child.

You have permission to vomit now.
you say the river thames - i say 'digital divide'

sarf londoners are socially excluded on grounds of restricted access to high-speed broadband (which won't survive in swampy conditions) so it won't be until we out-breed, er, out-blog our norf london buddies that we WIN THE WAR

oooh, or am i muddling it up with northern ireland?
Even if the south does rise, we'll have a fair bit of warning while it waits 20 minutes for an overland train, or even longer for a bus. Arf.

Oh, I'm only kidding. How can i hate those who share my love of the pickled egg? You can buy little jars of them in the supermarket. Yummy! Slice em up in your sandwichy goodness. Oooh I fancy one now. Anyone else? Plenty to go round. Come on, you big South London jessies yer, give us a cuddle. Make spuds not war and all that.
Urban Chick - I'm setting up the League Of Morose South London Bloggers (current membership numbers 328) so am doing my bit. What is Broadband?

Del - will pickled eggs really bring down the sectarian divide? I would imagine they promote flatulence, which wouldn't help.
You transpontine bloggers are a morose and surly bunch, you know. I think you should get out for a nice walk more often.

Oh. But where would you go? Tooting Bec Common?

Tee hee.

I take no credit for 'transpontine', by the way. Copyright George Melly, circa 1954.
I had to look up transopontine on Google, assuming it would be an ancient Greek bus service (Chariots On Fire?).

I grew up in the midlands with Cannock Chase a mile away and the Peak District and Staffordshire Moorlands an hour's drive away, but I'm still morose and surly. It is probably a genetic fault.

May I recommend Greenwich Park for anyone brave enough to slum it south of the river? It's fairly middle class around there so it shouldn't be such a shock to the system :D
Transpontine. A word invented by George Melly and other North London members of the trad jazz band they were all in; used to describe the one Saarff London member. Not surprisingly, he was the drummer. At first he was insulted by the word; then, realising it meant 'across the bridge', rather proud of it.

The book is called 'Owning Up' and it is one of the funniest books I have ever read. I kid you not, you'd love it. And you don't have to know anything about jazz. I'm not sure they knew that much themselves.
I like George Melly - he seems to be the last of those people who can turn up as a talking head on a tv programme and actually have something interesting to say. Mind you, I don't know how he lost his eye and it's probably a bit distasteful to even think about it. Perhaps it was due to an accident involving a drunken trombonist.
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