Thursday, 28 June 2007


Home is in a leafy town which is, in effect, a suburb of Birmingham. For two or three days each week, I am helping a church raise money for a building development project. To do this, I spend these days in Clapham, London which is a stark contrast to home. Clapham is a young people's town. It has dozens of bars and restaurants down the length of the High Street, and really comes alive at 9 p.m. when they are full to overflowing with young people. For the sake of clarity, young means under 30, as I'm a real oldie here. The poor and rich live side by side and go about their daily routine to make a living. There are hundreds of cyclists pouring along the main road into central London. Most of them ignore traffic lights, but very few seem to be involved in any accidents. Having a bike really is the easiest way to get around.

In SW4, the sound of sirens is almost ever present as the emergency services attempt to muscle their vehicles through the traffic. There are parking wardens everywhere, and owning a car looks to be a real luxury. I do like the buzz of the place, but I also appreciate the relative peace and quiet of home. I'm just lucky to be able to experience both, I guess.

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