Wednesday, 3 October 2012

It's all-white round here

Sussex has many qualities, it really does. Pretty countryside, small schools with well behaved children, farm shops, forests but with a healthy dose of Chelsea tractors and Cath Kidston bags to boot. For the lack of housing and population why is it so suffocating? Sometimes I feel I can't breathe in Sussex and I need to escape to London to find anonymity, cultures and different colour people. You see, around these parts, we are all the same. All part of one homogeneous gloop -  white, middle-class, educated and I can take a good guess who the majority of people vote for.

We used to live in Brixton, he would say Stockwell. Lets say it was between the two; Brixton being where we shopped, ate, drank and Stockwell where we got on the tube. I miss the Portuguese deli's and their little custard tarts and the manic bustle whatever time of day or night. I miss the opportunist trying to sell me some skunk as I wheeled my daughter in her pushchair. I miss the dude who sells josticks and the woman who shakes a tin trying to sell her crappy child-like drawings. The markets were full of strange fruit, colourful fabrics, smells to make you gag and the odd pigs head or a bag of chicken's feet. And the craziest of hot scotch bonnet chilli peppers. I really do miss all that.

It's sad that my children do not have a large diversity of people to make friends with. That all their food comes delivered from the Sainsbury's shopping man, it's sad that only one religion is learnt about and that if they see a woman wearing a sari they have to point it out as different.

But I guess I can't have it all - I did choose to live here.


  1. I used to live round there too, when my oldest was still in pushchair, 6 years ago - may have been around the same time! Herne Hill side of Brixton though. Couldn't have been more of a contrast from our little house on top of the Malvern Hills where we were before. Now, we live in Bath which is lovely but does suffer from the same homgenisation you describe where you are. Like you say, I guess we can't have it all!

  2. I'm sure we crossed paths! My favourite hangouts were Brockwell park and Clapham common - esp paddling pools in the summer. The Lambeth Country Show was the highlight of the year, a perfect meeting of town and country. Coffee's in The Lounge and Rosies in Brixton and Esca on Clapham High street.

  3. We lived right next to Brockwell park and I had a dog so we spent LOADS of time there. I actually went into labour on the day of the Lambeth Country Show (2005!). I had been walking around it all day, then went to a party, then when I went into labour I spent a good few hours convinced it was 'something I ate'..despite the fact it was actually my due date. But no one actually goes into labour ON their due date, do they?