Herne hill

Welcome to Herne Hell, Boris

When I lived in north London as a postgraduate student, my flatmates amused themselves by shouting abusive names at the then member for Henley as he cycled past on his way to the Commons from his house in Islington. But judging by the reaction from my old neighbours in Herne Hill, Boris Johnson is likely to receive an even less affable greeting there. The erstwhile prime minister and his wife have reportedly bought a five-bedroom home in Herne Hill, the leafy liberal, left-leaning pocket of south-east London where I lived for almost 20 years before moving to Norfolk last summer. Since news of their move to SE24 became public, the neighbourhood

The watery life of the capital

To write about London and its rivers is to enter a crowded literary field. Many aspects of watery life in the capital have been documented for public consumption over the past 150 years, from Hilaire Belloc’s lament for the river’s lost monasteries in The Historic Thames to Peter Ackroyd’s doorstop, London: A Biography. More recently, it is previously unremarked everyday stories which have found a home on many publishers’ lists. The practice of mudlarking especially of sifting objects from the river’s mud has held readers in thrall. Sometimes it sounds as though the Thames foreshore at low tide must be as busy as a King’s Cross platform during a pre-pandemic