Sunday, 11 January 2009

AH! London, your reputation precedes you...

I like going out in different areas of London. Sticking to one place is something me and my friends did throughout our teens, but now with the whole of London in easy reach (on the odd days that the underground system is without delays, engineering works and people under trains) we like to try something new.

My mum's reaction to this exploration of foggy London town is amusing and always the same. Upon asking and hearing where I am going, she will without fail reply:

"Oh. Well be careful. People get stabbed in ..........."

Really? As a rule, or just generally?

It's as if by giving me this little golden nugget of information no doubt gleaned from a fortnightly scan of the Daily Mail's front page, that I'm going to put my bag down, remove my make up, put some slippers on, ring my friends and advise a night in front of the fire.

The fact that my mum has probably never been to Clapham North, or Brixton, or Kilburn High Road, doesn't really factor into the equation. No, they're not the shiniest, prettiest or reputable places in the world - but generally me and my friends don't partake in hanging around the streets or drunken goading of the local hoodrats. We get off the tube, walk 5 minutes to a venue, and there we stay until a cab has been booked to take us home.

And so it was that last night, having been asked by my mum where I was off to and I replied that me and 3 others were going to the aforementioned Kilburn High Road (where people get shot, apparently. Guns being the media's weapon of choice this week) that I got the now standard response. Unfortunately, this warning came less than 2 weeks after an pretty grim incident on New Years Eve in our local pub where the manager had been bottled, leaving him in intensive care.

"So we'll get shot in Kilburn in the same way we got stabbed in Clapham North?"
"I didn't say you'd get stabbed in Clapham"
"True, your exact words were a little less specific: 'People get stabbed in Clapham'."
"Well they do."
"Yes, just like people get bottled in our town. Mum, these things happen everywhere. It's not going to stop me going out"

And with that, I left a faintly anxious mother and trundled over to The Good Ship to watch some bands (the main act, a band called Nina, was amazing as ever and deserve a plug. So good every time I see them. Check out 'It's Time' on the myspace page).

We arrived home at 4am and happily, the only thing we injured were our alcohol soaked livers and heads the next morning. Another Sunday spent in my PJs, quaffing Neurofen. Wonderful.


Anonymous said...

Haha, so it's not just my mum then!?

Tabby said...

My mum, when I'm going out from home, just seems to worry that i'm not going to be warm enough in my outfit or that i'm going to get drunk - quite perceptive of her really!

Huw said...

My parents were very suspicious of London as a whole, and visiting me when I lived there was always an ordeal for them. I think of all the places, strangely it was Cricklewood Broadway that spooked my dad the most.

My own list of places I never really felt at ease in or around:
- Somers Town
- Wood Green
- New Cross

Brennig said...

I've lived in various bits of London, the only time that I've been apprehensive was walking down Brixton High Street (from Clapham North) at 02.15 one Saturday.

Elaine said...

If I ever moved to London my Mum would have a fit. But that's what Mum's do, I guess!

Mouldy-Old-Tartlet said...

My mum gets her knowledge/pearls of wisdom from Talk Back Radio so I also get a similar sort of unwanted and unnecessary advice (even though I am 36 years old).

Tut! Mums? I ask yer!

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Chapati - Rumour has it, these worrying mothers are everywhere.

Tabby - I get "those shoes are high" and a disapproving look "will you be able to walk in them?" Oh no! Sorry, I'll go put some rancid flats on instead...

Huw - New Cross...ahhh, I've only ever driven through there and someone spat at my car. Nice. Says it all, really.

Brennig - Brixton at night isn't the happiest place on earth, however once in the Academy, all is safe and well.

Elaine - You'd be right there, just ask mine.

MOT - Ah yes, talk back radio and radio 2, Jeremy Vine in the morning. She loves all that.

Lynx said...

Ha, just wait until you get old and have kids. You'll find yourself saying the same sort of things that you hate hearing at the moment.

Anonymous said...

I've never been to London. Why would I? I could just as easily get stabbed here. :D

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Lynx - I don't doubt that for a second. Better whinge about it while I can, eh?

Papercuts - Or shot! Or assaulted! Don't forget the possibility of getting mugged, either. Or tripped up. Or Happy slapped (or was that all the rage in 2007?)


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