Sunday, 7 April 2013

Spitalfields Life

I've just added a link to Spitalfields Life to my side bar.
It's not because I have any special connection to Spitalfields - I've been there once or twice, but I've never lived there, and wouldn't say I knew it very well - but the "gentle author" of this blog makes it seem such a fascinating place. He finds all sorts of interesting and unusual people, of all races and nationalities, doing all sorts of different jobs, all getting along together in a small area of London.
There's Barn the Spoon, who makes a living by carving wooden spoons, and has just been along to the Museum of London to look at medieval spoons that he can copy.
There are portraits of elderly boxers, and clowns at the annual Grimaldi Clown service. There are historic buildings and snippets of local history, and artists of all sorts, and greasy spoon takeaways, ethnic restaurants, and people who make small amounts of artisan marmalade.
There are Jews and Somalis and Huguenots and all sorts of other people who call the East End home, all telling their stories to the gentle author.
It's a fascinating mixture - and it's useful to remember this vast variety for all sorts of reasons, from creating a believable and richly textured city population for a fantasy novel to more serious thoughts about immigration and how that affects life in our cities.

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