Diary… Hoxton’s ‘Poundland Paradise’ never fails to inspire

Hyperlocal Hackney a sight for sore eyes


Tuesday 25 February, London

>> Storm Dennis seems to be on a comfort break, or has departed these shores, which meant that going outdoors was possible.

So I went in search of some dirt-cheap white printer paper and found it in Poundland in nearby Hoxton Street. The visit also gave me the chance to buy some fresh supplies for the printing workshops I’m doing over the next few months.

“Son, can you play me a memory?” sang Billy Joel as I hand over my money. 

The area around Poundland in Hoxton Street is one of the loveliest spots I know in central London and I envy those who live there.

Hoxton Trust Gardens are a delight, but today I made two new discoveries. Behind the Trust’s Hoxton Street office is a small gardening and pottery project called Troy Town.

Troy Town…

And just behind Troy Town is a beautiful old red-brick social housing block of apartments (Cordelia House), complete with a mini “village green”.

Hoxton Trust Gardens and Cordelia House…

>> On the way home on the bus I sat next to what I took to be a Jewish man. He wore a black overcoat and brimmed hat. A curly plait of nicotine-grey hair was tucked behind each ear. Am I stereotyping?

Curiously, the man sat throughout stripping the plastic covering off a ball of electrical wire and carefully winding the freshly denuded copper wire around his hand.

>> Today being Shrove Tuesday, the chatterbox story is all about the Puffin.

Puffins are a cross between a pancake and a muffin.

From what I can tell, it is a basic pancake mix with added baking soda or bicarb.

And Puffins are cooked in the oven and not in a frying pan, using the poddy tray thing you make fairy cakes in.

>> Just noticed a letter of complaint in an old issue of the Guardian.

The reader, from Ottawa, Ontario, is disturbed by the dearth of dead women appearing in the Guardian’s “death section”.

The death section in most news organisations is properly named the Obits (short for obituaries).

“I’ve been waiting for you to fix the gender balance issue,” writes Alanna MacDougal. “Do notable women not die, or are you just having trouble noticing?”

Elsewhere, another reader praises the historical consistency of Guardian blunders by drawing attention to a mention of poor “pubic services”.

>> A victory, of sorts. The angst I’ve had trying to get at the mysterious £57.43 in my EE account has been resolved. Hopefully. After speaking to someone called Greg, and some email/sms contact with Tracy from the Executive Customer Resolution Team, the money has been found and issued as credit to my account.

>> For reasons unknown to me, my Quora feed has suddenly started harvesting smut. Today I got: “What is the dirtiest thing you’ve ever done?” and “What is the most inappropriate interaction you had at a gym?”

There was another one that started when a man went to the doctor with a swollen testicle and climaxed when he accidentally ejaculated in her face. 

“You could have warned me about that,” was the doctor’s observation on his condition.

>> An artist’s image of Julian Assange in court was published in the Morning Star today. It makes a good lookylikey game.

Name that man fighting extradition…

>> Read yesterday’s Diary.