East End Life

Lillie wins first prize


My wonderful dog Lillie won first prize in the doggie competition at the Spitalfields Street Party on 14th June 2014.

Picture courtesy East London Advertiser – full story here

Bethnal Green Special Appearance


At Bethnal Green Working Mans Club


New York, New York

Bethnal Green Working Mens' Club PerformanceMy rendition of New York, New York went down well at the Bethnal Green Working Mens’ Club on Saturday night. Several members of the audience joined me on stage for the chorus.
Next performance New Year’s Eve – Tuesday 31st December 2013.

A time for celebration

I glanced at the letters lying on my doormat. I hadn’t had so many in quite a while. Picking them up I put them on the table to read whilst drinking my morning tea. Just looking at the envelopes told me they were not from friends or relations.

The only way to find out, naturally, was to open them, which I did. All without exception were bills that were overdue – gas, electric, water, phone, council tax, rent – and would you believe, one from the Burial Society asking for my monthly payment, ensuring a decent burial when I die.

I looked into my tea, which by now was stone cold. What a start to the day. There was no way I could meet all these demands. I stared at the kitchen wall (which reminded me of a silly joke – “why do you keep staring at the kitchen wall? are you in love with it?” “Of course not, I just admire and respect it”). Well I did tell you it was silly.

They do say when one thinks of suicide the mind does go haywire, with reason flying out the window. I walked across the room, opened the window and gazed down to the street five floors below. It looked so easy, it would all be over in seconds. I put one foot on the ledge; suddenly I was distracted by someone dressed in the attire of a Town Crier (see photo) ringing a bell and shouting something I couldn’t quite catch. As he got nearer, it became loud and clear “Oyez, oyez, oyez, it is time for celebration. Let it be known on this day a future King of England has been born. God bless the Royal Family”.

Well, well, I said to myself, there’s me being negative about life and this wonderful event happens. It’ll certainly cheer up those facing cuts in housing benefits, people standing in line at food banks, and the thousands losing their jobs as a result of the recession.

Then it hit me…..the last time a Town Crier wandered the streets he was shouting “Oyez, oyez, oyez, Sweeney Todd the barber has been knicked for selling human meat pies”.

The grey sausage roll

GreyCapsIts obviously a joke, advertising a film, probably. And yet I was intrigued. I turned the radio on and tuned into Radio 4; but no, it wasn’t a joke. A future king had been born. The announcer was saying “people of England, go out into the streets, link hands with strangers, swear your allegiance to this seat of majesty, this sceptered isle. Home owners, say good morning to your next door neighbour, for the first time since living there for the past 30 years. Dancing round maypoles (see picture) should add to the general frivolity”.

Despite being a dyed-in-the-wool Republican I got caught up in the excitement and decided to join the crowds in the Mall, waiting to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family on the balcony of the Palace.

Before going I rummaged through a bottom drawer for an old flat cap, the ideal headwear to doff in the presence of Royalty (see photo).

I had read that the Queen was holding a banquet that very evening for the great and the good. My socialist instincts told me the list would not include nurses, firemen, grave diggers, care-workers, dustmen, midwives et al.

Mingling with the crowds outside the Palace gates, I observed a young woman eating a grey looking sausage roll, bought from an unshaven trolley vendor with black fingernails, and two-inch ash on a cigarette hanging from his lips. “Excuse me”, I said to her, “are you not concerned you may get food poisoning from what you’re eating?”. She replied “if I get it after seeing the Royal family on the balcony, then I don’t mind too much”. I said to myself how admirable the stoical outlook of the English; it’s people like this that should be around that banqueting table tonight. My thoughts were interrupted by a blast of music from an assembled brass band behind the Palace gates, the doors of the balcony swung open, and out stepped the Royal family.

The baby is on the table

MaypoleThe roar of the crowd ensured it would be a long time before this sceptered isle becoming a Republic. I was about to scoff my cap when I noticed many other flat caps being thrown in the air. I followed suit, but it fell and landed I know not where. Someone nearby started to sing “for he’s a jolly good fellow” with more voices joining in, followed by “roll out the barrel” and “There’ll always be an England”. A voice called out “where’s the future king?” another replied “he’s probably crawling along the banquet table tasting a prawn cocktail”. Laughter all round. After another blast of music, the Royals disappeared behind the balcony doors, no doubt to enter the banqueting hall to find prawn cocktails scattered all over a Louis XIV embroidered carpet. What a naughty baby the future king is, already behaving like his uncle, Prince Harry.

The show being over, people began drifting away down the Mall. I picked up some of the flat caps strewn around, tried them on, till one fitted me. Entering Buckingham Palace Road, I spotted the unshaven, black fingernails, cigarette ash spotted apron of the grey sausage vendor. Feeling a bit peckish, and throwing caution to the wind, I bought two. One to munch there and then, the other to put in my oven for a late night snack.

Arriving home the first thing I noticed were the unpaid bills, which I promptly tore into tiny pieces, I knew what I had to do the following morning, only a miracle will stop me. Dismissing it from my mind, I reheated the sausage roll, settled in my easy chair and promptly fell asleep, leaving an uneaten grey sausage languishing on a plate

In the money

Awaking the following morning, I decided not to waste any more time; went to the window, opened it, put one foot on the ledge, gazed around the room, to say goodbye, when unbelievingly I heard the voice of the Town Crier again. I looked down, and sure enough there he was, ringing his bell and bellowing something I couldn’t catch. For a moment I thought he mentioned my name. It can’t be, but yes it was, LOUD and clear ““Oyez, oyez, oyez, this is a message for Mike Myers. You have won the Euro Millions lottery. The jackpot is 500 Million Euros”. I shut my eyes tight, then opened them, looking down, the Town Crier had gone.

I decided now was not a good time for jumping out of windows, it was also a good time for believing in miracles. So there is a god, after all. How can I repay him for this luck bestowed upon me? I got down on my knees, clasped my hands together, looked up, and said “dear God, wherever you are, I now see the error of my Republican beliefs, which I hereby renounce as of this moment. To show my sincerity, I’m prepared to go into seclusion atop a mountain in the Himalayas, with just a bible for company, but if I did that, lots of greedy people will steal all the lovely lolly I’ve won and live the life of Riley. I’m sure you agree with me that we can’t allow this to happen, so maybe my trip to the Himalayas be postponed till such time when the money runs out”.

Well that’s all I have to say at present, but I’ll get back to you quite soon, if not from my miserable flat, then probably from a chateau in Switzerland or a castle in sunny Spain. I shall go out shortly to visiting a few places of worship, to put a few coins in their collection boxes, just to show my heart’s in the right place. I rose from the floor to go out and do my good deed, when it hit me – HOW DID THE TOWN CRIER KNOW I HAD THE WINNING TICKET? I never buy tickets for that lottery. On that puzzling question, I woke up in bed in a cold sweat. IT WAS ALL A DREAM. I know that for a fact as there was no trace of an uneaten grey sausage anywhere in sight.

Long live the Republic.

London beach: as it was




Coffee anyone?

Pret A Manger sell a beaker of filter coffee for 90p. I tried it the other week. My verdict? Drink polluted drain water instead.

Where's that bin?


Looks like a reject from Dr Who

As you enter the square mile of the City of London, you take a banana from your pocket and begin eating it. Looking for a bin to dump the skin, there’s none in sight, and not wishing to throw the skin in the road, you put it in your pocket.

Pulling an apple from another pocket, you start munching down to the core. Still no bins, put the core on top of the banana skin. By now you’ve reached Cheapside, and still feeling peckish, you buy a wrapped cheese sandwich. The sticky wrapping goes on top of the core. The sandwich is not very tasty. Same procedure, plonk it on the wrapping. Your pocket is now bulging with food waste.

THIS IS TOO MUCH, you hear yourself shouting. WHERE’S THOSE BLOODY BINS’?

Passers by are staring, a voice suddenly whispers in your ear “pardon me sir, you’re causing a disturbance”. You turn, the whisperer is a policeman. “Officer” you cry “I’ve become a walking dustbin”. A crowd is beginning to gather.

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE THE NEAREST RUBBISH BIN IS? you shout. A voice in the crowd shouts back, YES MATE, ON THE M25. Laughter all round.

Someone pipes up LET’S TAKE A COLLECTION AND BUY THE POOR CHAP A NICE BIN FROM HARRODS, WE’LL BORROW THE COPPER’S HELMET TO PUT THE MONEY IN. The crowd are shrieking. “That’s it” says the copper, “I gave you fair warning, I’m running you in for disturbing the peace” Someone shouts DID YOU SAY PEACE OR POLICE? The copper continues “anything you now say will be taken down in evidence”… you break in… “I’ve heard that line in so many cop movies, its laughable”. “well I’m not laughing” he replies. “I’m calling a van to take you away”. Seeing that the crowd is on your side, you politely say, “that’s awfully decent of you officer, I hope its not Margate, if you make it Brighton. I’ll buy you an ice-cream on the pier”.

As the van is pulling away, with you inside, you peer through the porthole window, in time to see the crowd waving goodbye. You wave back with your handcuffed wrists, and murmur “I’ll never eat another banana in the City of London”.

Footnote: My friend, you will be pleased to know that the City of London Corporation are deploying bins, known as techno-pods, across the Square Mile, for collection of general recyclable waste. They are conveniently sited alongside main roads. You can resume once again noshing any fruit you desire, within the City boundary. Though I do advise you to pick up a guide highlighting where the pods are located, otherwise you may find yourself in a van on your way to Lewes jail.

Well at least Lewes is only a few miles from Brighton. Bon Voyage.

A Very Intelligent Dog

Lillie doing the crossword

Spitalfields Street Party

A recent Golden Jubilee celebration Street Party in Wilkes Street, Spitalfields.

Who’s the lovely lady in blue?


  • Saturday 6th December 2014

Water Poet, Folgate St

  • New Year's Eve - Wednesday 31st December 2014

Bethnal Green Working Mens Club


My Funny Valentine

That Old Black Magic


Mike Myers Spitalfields Crooner

Mike Myers, The Spitalfields Crooner