Tuesday, 22 May 2007


Even now I'm not sure how much of what I saw was real.

Getting lost in the maze of flatblocks leading from a little behind King's Cross station up to Agar Grove, running behind and alongside the canal.

The last familiar point I remember was the Egg Club on York Way, cold, closed, and shuttered. At that time in the morning, I suppose that's only to be expected, but it looked a lot smaller in the half-light, and a lot more dead than I ever wanted to see it.

I picked up a discarded flyer pack at random. There wasn't a single flyer in it that was in date. Everything had already happened.

I don't know how we ended up where we did. We should have ended up coming out on to Camden Road and the relative familiarity of a long and fairly dull walk before we got to the next noteworthy outpost of civilization. And that was only a bloody 24-hour petrol station.

Instead, we took an unfamiliar path. Losing concentration, we had been swallowed up by buildings. Winding stairs and ramps took us higher, but although we could in places see the canal and tow-path along which we had first come, we could discern no way of reaching it.

While we could often climb higher, the stairwells that would have lead us down to street level were locked and barred...

The walkways between buildings let out on open-air car-parks, above road level, and with no lower stories that we were able to find. Some of the cars had been abandoned for months, tires empty, tax expired, as if they'd come up here one day, and no one had ever been able to work out how to get them out again.

Feral cats and foxes scavenged among stinking, overflowing bins, dragging away with them small prizes that we didn't care to examine too closely, and for a couple of brief instants the light of our torches illuminated eyes that by their reflected colour could have been neither cat nor fox.

Somehow, in time, we stumbled upon an exit.

Somewhere behind King's Cross station.

On half-asphalted roads where re-development work had one day stopped and never began again, empty and leaking warehouses stood shoulder-to-shoulder with brown-field dumping grounds and piles of twisted and decaying rubber and metal in the yard of a long-closed automotive works.

Metal stairs, tangled round with thorny trees that grew more than three floors high. These finished at a gate, which let out back on to solid earth. We sat for a few moments to drink, trying to breathe, trying to get our bearings, trying not to look at the trees that surrounded us, trying not to think about what we saw tangled between the branches and a warning-posted fence.

We didn't speak much.
When we stood, we continued along the barren patch of earth that lead through diseased foliage. It was only a matter of a turning and a few meters between where we had rested and the next gate.
Getting to it took a couple of false starts, and then, ultimately, a dash to the gate, eyes fixed in front of us, not looking to either side, nor to see what it was that a magpie among the trees had alighted on and begun to peck at.

That next gate brought us back to the beginning of sanity.
A couple of walkways and staircases beyond it took us to what was recognizably part of the main line station.
From there, a short walk and a tube train took us back to what passed for home.

Monday, 16 April 2007


Small bones crunched under my feet.
The remains of generations of tiny rodents, their bodies stripped clean by their own descendents.

It's an old electricity sub-station alongside the tracks of the Northern Line. We got in at night, climbing a half-collapsed fence. The great main doors had been flapping open earlier that day; I'd spotted it from the tube.

Building of potential use. Running water. A little too running, if the puddles on the basement floor are anything to go by. But in this part of the city, it's hardly a surprise; most people know better than to attempt digging.

No electricity, ironically enough. No riser for normal mains power. This renders the structure unsuitable as a residence.

Three floors; basement, ground, and a mezzanine. All sturdy enough.
The skeleton of a crane is still in place, hanging from girders at roof-level.

One primary entry point; metal doors; strong enough to barricade.
Additional entry points: 2? fire doors.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

The guitar cases remained on stage long after the band and crew should have packed up and gone off to sleep/party/fuck, instruments laid on top of them like flags on coffins.

The fire curtain came down in front of the band almost as soon as they'd finished playing the last screaming song. The performance was beautiful; agonized; electrified. She sang like she was being torn apart; guitar, bass, and drums all in chains to the music.

It's hard to tell what happens after that.

Their website has been down for three months now.

Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Time In Nicotine

Less than half a cigarette left.
It's sometimes easiest to measure time relative to physical objects.
Half a cigarette left to smoke.
6 hours left before the travelcard runs out.
Two more shots until the bag is empty.

If you measure time that way, you can pretend that any intervening duration doesn't exist. You don't have to count the time during which the half cigarette lies unlit in the ashtray. Anything that happens then doesn't have to exist. Doesn't have to be real.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Subject: Where Did I Leave My Brain?

Sex, blood, and chocolate.
You know it's got to be the weekend.

Oh, and nicotine.

And probably a couple of pills.

And some ill-advised fumbling in the toilets of a club people only go to so they can complain about how it's not like it used to be in the good old days (presumably before they ever got there because none of them can remember a week when they weren't complaining) with a guy who's name you can't remember and wouldn't want to anyway and didn't you swear blind that you'd never let his cock anywhere near you again and since when have you been fucking guys anyway, aren't you supposed to be straight this week, only none of us can really remember, and it's only 50/50 that it's even his original penis.

It has to be the weekend.

Otherwise there's absolutely NO excuse for this kind of behaviour.

Someone give me a fag.

And another pill.

It had better be the weekened, because if this is Monday, I'm totally fucked.

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Abandoned Buildings

There are more empties these days, in some parts of the city at least.
Nothing I'd want to squat. Little I'd be able to get into.

The ones that aren't burned out are blocked with steel shutters or breeze blocks or crime scene tape, or some combination of the three. A lot of them have serious alarms and notices from security firms that I know all too well to be on the ball.

Some of them have notices from... what's the company? Kingdom, Excalibur... something like that. Basically, they take money from people who own properties in order to ensure that those properties stay occupied, and they charge rent to people (who generally can't afford to live anywhere better) who want to live there.

Seems a fair enough deal, except for the fact that the tenancy agreements are a joke (virtually no notice), and that many of the buildings really aren't suitable for habitation, let alone leasing. It also takes a few properties out of the squatting system, which rather sucks from my point of view.
But I suppose it's people like me they're trying to put off here.

I'm seeing a lot of empty shops, too.
I'm informed that this is down to the recently passed bill ensuring an indefinite right to vacant possession. Essentially it's often in a company's best interests to keep a property vacant and claim a tax rebate or write-off on the maintenance costs.

Still, some streets are starting to seem a little too empty, even taking that into account.

Friday, 23 March 2007

Thursdays Are Usually Pretty Dead

There was a work team on the overhead rails in Camden tonight, near that park you get to opposite the bus stop if you keep walking up the road to Kentish Town, a little way past the Dev.

They were working in virtual darkness, none of the usual halogen lights, just the dim glow of these red lanterns. It looked like they were taking down some things hanging from the power lines.

But I'm still trashed. Fuck knows I've been up long enough for hallucinations to have set in. They were probably graffiti artists, and what I saw hanging was probably just some mess of plastic bags, rags, and sticks, maybe blown up there in the wind the other night. The charred smell was almost certainly all in my head - even though the wind was blowing the right way, I was still a few meters off.

It looked like someone in a building opposite the tracks had a video camera trained on it.

Going to bed.
I clearly need sleep.