A Soho Christmas Carol

Soho was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatsoever about that. The register of its burial was signed by the bookie, the bartender, the stripper, and the investigative journalist. Galliard signed it: and Galliard’s name was good upon Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Soho was as dead as a door-nail. Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade.  But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Soho was as dead as a door-nail.

Continue reading “A Soho Christmas Carol”


Dhaka Blues

From the moment I stepped onto the airport tarmac, Bangladesh was totally unlike anything I had experienced in my entire life. Everything is so much more intense, that a trip out to buy bread becomes a high-octane action movie. I’m not going to lie, my visit really challenged all the usual assumptions of a Westerner for whom comfort is habit and made me see life differently. In a way, I really think that I found myself out there.

Continue reading “Dhaka Blues”

Blackheath: Wide Open Space

It’s a paradox to be standing in the middle of a dense, crowded, urban environment and find that you are physically isolated, cut off on your own. Treading the grass, there’s not another person within spitting, throwing or shouting distance of you. There are vast empty spaces between you and the nearest human being. You could drive a range rover or a huge lorry right through the middle of all this, and people do, at a rate of every other second. But that’s enough about the Millwall defence, because on my way to last weekend’s game I got off the bus early and had a nose around Blackheath and Charlton.

Continue reading “Blackheath: Wide Open Space”