Friday, December 04, 2009

I love Brixton SO much...

We had a lovely wakening this morning. The spud rambled into our room at a not-too-early hour (8:30am), clambered onto the bed, put a hand on either side of my face and said 'I love you SOOO much!' and then kissed me on the nose. He then ruined the effect by squishing me as he rolled over to do the same to his father.

We paddled off after a while to go swimming and then afterwards, as we were on our way to the Spud's girlfriend's house for lunch, I got a text from another great local mate saying that Santa was coming to Brixton Lido in an open top bus from 5 to 6pm.

No. Fucking. Way. Santa? In a bus? It's like something out of one of the Spud's more lurid day-dreams.

Anyway, so we pitched up to the Lido parking lot expecting a huge crowd; but due to Lambeth council's non-existent powers of marketing almost nobody knew about it. It was brilliant. There was a free carousel, salsa dancing, people dressed up as Christmas trees and elves, 10 year old boys on unicycles (ok, one small boy on one unicycle), fire juggling, mulled wine, roast chestnuts and we knew half the people there. Did I say it was brilliant?



By the time Santa rolled up however, there was quite a crowd. The spud caught sight of the bus and that was it. Open top. Double Decker. Red bus. Festoooooooned with lights. Ringed with police cars. To heck with Santa.


Spud wanted to get on the bus in a Very Very Big Way. First we had gawping, then we had begging, then we had whining and then we had a meltdown. I had to show him the police officer outside the bus before he accepted that he couldn't get on it. He was completely uninterested in Santa.

I love Brixton - I love that we live in one of the most notorious areas of Britain for gun crime and drugs and yet where-ever I go I know people, people smile, people sing in the streets. OK, Brixton is twenty shades of crazy and people are miserable here too but in general people go out of their way to make it great. I love that we have our own currency; the Brixton Pound which is legal - but only in Brixton. I love that there was a steel band and a lamb on a spit at the last nursery party. I love that Santa shows up here in a bus with a police escort. It's like living in a small, mad, extremely urban village.

After the Santa experience we took the spud to our local cafe for a treat and then he stayed up way way too late. In the end I got him to sleep by getting into his bed and kissing him on the forehead. 'I love you SOOO much' I said to the spud 'Yes', he said back and the two of us drifted off together blissfully. Until I got a cramp in my foot.

It started well, today. It hasn't ended that badly. And now it's the weekend. Life is good.

20 comments:

Nicola said...

What a fantastic post. You almost have me desiring to live in Brixton. Almost. xx

Gringa-n-Mexico said...

EEEEEEEE It's freaking bad ass there! A police escort for Santa!? HAAAAAAA I LOOVEE it! Everything sounded WAAAAYYYY too cool - like some sort of summer festival, but for Santa. Way too friggin cool yo. (So do people actually get paid in town-money? What's the exchange rate like? I'm too curious! :P )

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Oh, I do miss Brixton sometimes. Used to live opposite Brockwell Park, loved it. LOVED it. It was mad, barmy and quite unique. And I would find myself humming 'rock down to Electric Ave' most mornings onthe way to work.

Why would those big old meanie police men let Spud on the bus?

Jennie said...

Sounds like a blast! I must see this Brixton place for myself someday. Hope there's a good exchange rate for that B£!

DJ Kirkby said...

Gods what a gorgeous post. You haven't managed to convince me about Brixton mind but a beautiful post all the same. xo

nappy valley girl said...

Great post. We moved to America six months ago from just off Acre Lane. I could go to the shops in Clapham or Brixton - it was like going to two different countries. There is something unique about Brixton.

Sparx said...

Nicola - heck you should give it a try!

Gringa - the exchange is 1 to 1 - one British pound buys you one Brixton Pound. You just have to spend it here. We don't search you for it when you cross the border back into London either, it's cool... (no, we don't have a border really but I reckon it won't be long...)

Brit - you lived opposite Brockwell Park? Where - Dulwich Rd or Brixton Water Lane? You were soooooooooo close to us!

Jennie - well heck, come anytime... although there is nowhere decent to stay anywhere near here and our floor is a bit tiny!

DJ - thanks for cheering me up hon, hope you're recovering wellxxx

Nappy Valley Girl - really? Another ex-Brixtonian? I mean, Acre Lane... c'mon that's Brixton. Fab!

Jennie said...

- Watch out! Last time someone said that to us, we took our ten month old to Hong Kong, to stay with people we'd met once, for a whole fortnight! I am working on a girls weekend in Paris concept, in which case I will take the Chunnel. Perhaps only for a day. Wonder if that's enough time to see you and stalk Tim Minchin?

Sparx said...

Seriously Jennie, you come to London for a day, I take the day off to see you!!! Even if it's only champagne in the bar at St. Pancras...

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I'm so glad you had a great day and so much fun! Jonathan would have been the same way with the bus! :-)

Ju said...

Fantastic post. I'm not far from you in Lambeth and often go to see my sister in Brockewell Park. What you wrote just summarizes what Brixton is about.
if only I knew the open bus with santa was passing by...

Michelle said...

My kids would have loved this event! So funny how fascinated the Spud was by the bus and not Santa.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Brixton Water Lane. Right next to the Hobgoblin. I LOVED that flat. Miss it so much. Brixton is just plain old FAB! (although I did have someone shot virtually on my doorstep which didn't do much for the guy trying to sell his flat upstairs.. those big yellow MURDER DID YOU SEE ANYTHING signs not doing wonders for his viewings...)

Sparx said...

Lisa - surprisingly, none of the other little boys were, they were ALL more interested in Santa. I think I'm quite happy about that to be honest! Buses over commercialism any day...

Ju - another near-Brixtonian - so many of us! Sadly the open-topped Santa bus was a 2-day affair apparently and over now. Never mind, I'm sure he knows you've been nice!!!

Michelle - yes, but that's fine with me!!

Brit - NO WAY!!! You have NO idea how close we are to your flat. The Hobgoblin is now called 'The Hootnanny' which confusingly serves Thai food and has a fantastic line up of live ska bands passing through there. And shootings... I hear the talk, thankfully nothing on our doorstep but a bag with a gun in it so far... cross fingers...

Metropolitan Mum said...

Now I see what you mean. I have never lived South of the river. W8 was the most South I got in London. So do you think of leaving the madness behind?

Good to see you again today. I just unpacked the goodie pack, tucking into the truffles now.

dulwich divorcee said...

Lovely to meet you yesterday, hope to bump into you in Brockwell Park soon!

Mum said...

Such a lovely blog and great blurts I am looking forward to seeing how many of these beautiful people you manage to contact. Meanwhile, the Anonymous was not me or your father - can you get a block on these junk mail people? what a thing to do to such a happy light blog.
So glad you had a great day with Charlie.
Mum

Metropolitan Mum said...

Was hoping for a reply but found anonymous' comment instead. Wow, I am getting rich!! We are all getting filthy rich, yay! Lucky us soon-to-be-affluents.

Anonymous said...

Talking of Brixton Pounds, have a look at this video of someone doing all of their christmas shopping in only Brixton Pounds:

http://brixtonpound.org/2009/brixtonpound-xmas-shopping/

Sparx said...

Metropolitan Mum - just came back to read old comments, sorry I missed you here! Great to see you again as well - wonder if you're doing the next one?

Dulwich Divorcee - great to meet you too - perhaps a Park rendezvous for all us south of the river types is in our future - perhaps when the weather is better?!

Hi Mum!

MM - I know, it's all get-rich-quick schemes on my blog since I removed word verification. I've deleted them all now as you can see but more are sneaking in all the time...

Anonymous

That is BRILLIANT!!! I wish I'd come back and read this comment before Christmas - what a completely great thing!