Jimmie Martin: The Chairs!

I walk down Kensington Church Street quite often these days, so I thought I should follow up on that entry about the chairs. A few people had asked the name of the shop: Jimmie Martin. And they sell not only crazy chairs but all sorts of home stuff like wardrobes, mirrors, tables, beds. They even have candles, wallpaper and cushions.

The shop moved to its current location in 2009, but has been around in London since 2004. It’s run by Jimmie Karlsson and his partner Rick. They “provide an eclectic showcase of one-off pieces of furniture combining the decadent and quirky with the nostalgic and urban.”

They’ve done a pink stiletto chair for Kelly Osbourne, a commission table for Pete Townshend using his last smashed up guitar, bits and pieces for Kylie Minogue and Liam Gallagher.

More on the website, of course!

Shop: Jimmie Martin Ltd
Address: 77 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BG 
Website: www.jimmiemartin.co.uk
Phone: 44 (0)20 7938 1852


Old Street: Truth Ingestion

This little corner of old street is just outside the station. Usually I avert my eyes when I walk by because that back corner is too often occupied by a tramp relieving himself against the wall. This time, however, it was an empty little square full of only empty beer bottles, kebab trays from the night, napkins before marked by dirty boot prints and a new message scrawled along the wall: “Truth Ingestion”. And maybe it’s true that life in this little derelict corner is a truth too easy to ignore.

Guest Post: London is Silent in Tears

Written by Efemena Agadama who has come to London from Nigeria to study. He often contributes articles on human rights issues to his Amnesty International blog and is interested in writing for theatre production.


With a plastic empty plate in hand
Blue in colour as the sky
Flat as a tiny plank
With pointed Hills as bones protruding
From scaly skin
Pants torn by the kindless fire
Eyes falling inside daily
Saliva lost from mouth
And whitish tongue
Whitish tongue
Tongue searching for food
His soul sinks in despair
Without food for four days
He limps
With fly infested injury
To an only market
Now infested with corpses
collapsed homes
Full of corpses of the young and the old
He searches vaguely
From market to market
Home to home
Mosque to mosque
Church to church
Shrine to shrine
Through floods
Bush paths
In sun
In rain
Yet plate still empty
Searching for someone
A loving arm
Not sympathy
But a loving arm.

That furious earthquake, man-eater shark, the earthquake that ran through Haiti with its army of vampires, each one with a million swords drawn, slaughtering innocent children, United Nations peacekeepers, pregnant women, brave and coward men, destitute, the blind, lame, deaf and even imbeciles has left in its trail sorrow, tears and corpses. Haiti, a poor country,  is now a home of uncertainty, a garden of withered flowers, a town of dining ghosts, a farm of famine and a party of confusion. You furious earthquake, why did you chose the poor Haiti to unleash your weapon of mass destruction?  Why did you let your calabash of hot coals to fall there – revealing your bloody secrets? Why?  Didn’t you see the welcoming mountains where nobody lives?

Now London is silent in tears. London weeps. London is showing that it is human and has blood in its veins. Just in a twinkling of an eye, it has led the raising of millions of pounds for the survival of those who are waiting to die of hunger, sickness and your monstrous shockwave. The media war between the Labour Party and the Tories has been weakened, the tears of fallen soldiers from Afghanistan have been quieted to the lowest level and all attention geared towards the horror, the horror of your devastation. London is silent in tears. London weeps, but not all tears do come to the eyes. It is much easier to wipe tears that come to the eyes than to wipe tears that lay in our hearts.
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Sunday Roast: Garden Gate

What better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than in the pub for hours eating the most delicious Sunday lamb roast I’ve had since I moved to London, drinking hot chocolate with marshmallows and playing a hilarious game of Monopoly with good friends?

Here’s a thumbs-up recommendation for Garden Gate in Hampstead for letting us hang about all afternoon and for serving up some awesome food. When you’re with three born-and-bred Brits who are all raving about how tasty the roast is, you know you’re onto something good. (Mouth-wateringly good, to be precise.) They even have nut roast for the vegetarians out there. And if you don’t like Monopoly, there are plenty of other board games to keep you entertained until you’ve got enough room for blackberry and apple crumble dessert with custard on top.

Now you know where to find me for many Sundays to come….

PS – There is also a big, heated, outdoor beer garden.

Pub: The Garden Gate
Address: South End Road, London, NW3 2QE
Website: http://thegardengatehampstead.co.uk/
Food served: Noon – 10pm every day; till 9pm on Sundays

Camden: Proud and a Shisha Bar

Waiting for the night bus in Camden on Saturday, my friends and I were approached by a scruffy, middle-aged Irish guy who told us about 10 different jokes. The pound I dropped into his palm at the end was probably the best money I spent all night.

Before that, we had queued up to get into Proud Galleries where we were on the guest list. It is usually a cool place to hang out with photography exhibitions by day and a club with bands and little rooms you can use to play pool or table football by night. On Saturday, it was packed to the point of claustrophobic, had a £10 cover charge and impossible queues at the bar. Music was decent and I was in good company, but that’s about it.

We stayed a few hours and then went back into the cold February air, walked past all of the people still trying to get in and found ourselves an empty shisha lounge with red heat lamps and comfy seats outside. The food was terrible, but the double apple shisha we shared was great and we spent the rest of our night laughing and relaxed.

Photo of Lucy & I at Shisha by Daniel Higgott 

Proud? Not on a Saturday night. Shisha bar? Yes.