So I live in the end of Hammersmith as the Witch of Brackenbury among the Pi-latte couture of young mums married to property investors. Yet this oasis of whiter than with terraces and bijou basement conversion seems to fray on the boundaries, or maybe just the worst people are collectively swept to my corner, far too shouty and tracksuit clad to be ‘villager’. Sweep them to ‘where the crazy lady lives.’
I woke to a man being sick outside me front door the other side of my futon. If it wasn’t sick then he has walked away without his lungs. Not the most ‘affluent neighbourhood’ start to your day. I am still unsure if it was just another mimicking insult considering the teenagers out the back did impressions of me sneezing in silly voices for weeks.
If it wasn’t for the tides of chav domestics and disembodied ridicules life would be pretty good there really. I had to go and find the drop in service for Shelter to see if I can take action against my career and health damaging landlords. North End Road is one really REALLY long road to walk up when you are lost. I started at the wrong end.
It turned out I spent most of the day there and I have to say it is probably the best bit of Hammersmith because away from all the Kate Middleton look-a-likes purring ‘Felix you forgot your iPad’ in Bridget Jones accents of my end, it is so full of life.
People talk to you in North End Road. Whether that’s the men on the street stalls or just random strangers. Wait for a bus, declare you are lost and you can find yourself chatting for ages. It’s busy with shoppers with heaps of veg stalls and fish, random haberdashery, pawn shop jewellery and charity shops.
I eventually found the building number and it was for flats. After a 15 min wait on the phone I hung up and realised I was stood outside a Shelter charity shop so went in and asked. The drop in is in a back office in the shop and I had a 2 hour wait until I could be seen so I went to Fulham down the road and got a coffee and walked back. Still stupidly early I shop volunteer let me sit in a vintage armchair for sale amongst the coats and shoes and she gave me some very good advice and told me her story while pausing to serve quite a few customers. And I thought, boy I’ve missed talking to everyone and anyone and hearing their stories when sat in my flat I only hear arguing or children going to school at dawn. (or waking up to ‘no bra!’ being squeeled outside?!)
An Irish man at the bus stop asked about my white cane and the woman beside him waiting for the bus joined our chatter and got on the bus with me. I like this road. It is like a little world of it’s own. Tree lined avenues and shiny Mazdas outside topiary trees are all nice to walk around on the West borders but they don’t speak do they?