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Christmas In Hackney

With a week left before it really is Christmas, I was delighted to wake up today to a blizzard going on outside my window. Now, this year’s snow has caused me all manner of problems, from outlandish gas bills to majorly delayed T-shirt deliveries, but I still love it, and I was secretly glad that public transport had ground to a standstill and I couldn’t cycle, as it necessitated a nice long walk to the gym. I loaded up my Desire Z with Cocaine Blunts’ Best Rap Of 2010, set the camera mode to “warm vintage”, slung my mother’s scarf around my neck, and set out into London’s Historic East.

You know that snow is serious when it starts sticking to walls, and you know its really serious when it starts sticking to horizontal metal objects, like road signs.

Similarly, you can tell that you’re in some kind of winter wonderland when buses zoom past and drench you, not with puddle-water, but with a thick splat of pure wet snow. Its way better than the usual routine, despite ultimately achieving the same result.

Jeres was not, as advertised, at the gym, but in Primark buying gloves, so I wandered down to Hackney central to meet him. I passed a park, blanketed in unsoiled white. I was tempted to vault over the fence and run around the thing in circles like a big vandal, until a little bird caught my eye and made me think better of it.

I found Jeres fresh from Primark with a bag full of underpants, but no gloves. It dawned on me that I have not bought any underpants since those Spider-man ones I got in New York in 2007. My girl’s sister always buys me underpants for Christmas. Her Mum too , now I come to think of it. How undignified. I am going to buy myself some off of the internets as soon as I’ve finished this drop.

Jeres, as you might be able able to tell from the evil glint in his ye in the picture above, has been infused with some weird exercise-demon, so we ended up going a bit harder in the gym than usual: 20 minutes on the running machine, 300 reps on the upper body machines, 100 on the ab machines, 50 sit ups on the big comedy rubber balls and 50 dumbbells ”because  450 is a stupid number.”

Afterwards we copped squishees from the newsagent and posed for a photo and had snowballs thrown at us by pesky rudeboys. Their aim was comically rubbish, so they tried their luck at close range on a small Chinese lady, who transformed into a terrifying vision of  fervent rage and sent them scuttling off like squirrels.

On the way home it dawned on me that I used to smoke a shit ton of fags every single day of my life. It’s been a year and a half since I quit, which isn’t all that long in the context of a lifetime. I wonder what I won’t be doing in another 18 months that I am now. I hope its not waffles, I really like waffles at the moment.

It’s been 18 years since I quit church, which is a better percentage. I still love churches though, and they look especially dope under a gang of snow.

I found this disgusting looking creature a few yards down from the weird Masonic lodge round the corner from my place. Its either the result of some dastardly experiment, or a sandbag with some snow and twigs on it. I refuse to believe the latter.

After the run in with the crappy-aim rudeboys outside the gym, I had decided to attempt preventive measures, by wandering along bouncing a big shiny wedge of hard-packed snow up and down in my palm, like a cricket ball. Its effect was incredible. Regular humans eyed me warily, and active snowballists nodded at me respectfully all the way home.

About three seconds after I snapped the shot above this kid got a lump of snow the size of a basketball upside the back of his head. It was beautiful.

This guy wanders around Hackney Wick all day with three plastic bags full of paper cups. He reeks so thoroughly of piss you can be in the shop on Eastway buying gas and smell him walking up Chapman Road three blocks away. He lives in the old people’s home with the old blonde lady who falls into uncontrollable pearls of cackling laughter whenever she sees me. I wonder what they do of an evening.

I don’t know why some had decided to erect a giant snow testicle in the middle of the road outside the Hackney Pearl but they did. And I aint mad at them.

I took this snap a few moments after the kid in the blue hoody had been told by his mother to “stop that right now.”

I took this snap a few moments before the kid in the blue hoody caught his mother around the side of the head with a big-ass snowball, and got dragged across the road by his ear. I could read his mind. “It was worth it,” he repeated. “It was worth it.”

And that? That was my third Preventative Snowball. More of a snow egg, now I look at it. Regardless, it kept me safe from attack, safe from wet-neck, free to live another day, and for that I am thankful. If you try this method yourself – I am going to call it The Cold War Method - do let me know how you get on, but remember! I only invented it today, and it has therefore not been rigorously tested. Don’t blame me if it goes horribly wrong, like when my mate Danny started carrying a swiss army knife around.

HO HO HO!

— Saturday, December 18th, 2010

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  • Chirazhill

    a little mini story that i found strangely compelling enough to read to the end!

  • JjFab

    Dang! That’s a lot of snow! I was reliving that cold all over again! If it makes you feel any better the weather here in Los Angeles is cold and rainy! Although it may be 80 degrees Christmas day!