At last the sun is out and Brixton is booming - in more ways than one. The only riots we're having now, thirty years on from the events of April 1981, is a riot of parties and picnics.
Brixton is a great place to live - ask anyone who actually lives here. I can't say anything about the riots, or about whether or not Brixton is a better place to live than it was back then - I'm a newcomer and I'm from entirely the wrong background to comment. What I can say is that we would never live anywhere else in London.
The moment the sun comes out in Brixton it's as though the light is pouring out of the pavement. Everywhere you go you hear music, people smile at each other. Charlie and I went to a playground the other day that we don't normally get to; it's small and there was only a man and his son, a little older than Charlie, throwing snaps at each other and laughing at the bangs. Charlie was transfixed, he tried to play on his own but it was too much fun and frankly, I felt the same. We joined in, they gave us a box of our own and we spent a very happy 10 minutes talking about Brixton and throwing miniature explosives at the ground and cheering as they landed with a crack.
In that 10 minutes I learned a little more about Brixton, met someone new who also loves the place (and who has lived here 40 years and ought to know what he's on about) and walked away feeling, once again, that I am absolutely living in the right place, given that this is London and that actually I'd quite like to get out of the city one day.
Today, the park was mad with people, it was great. There were two, count 'em, two ice-cream vans outside the gates, a circus across the way and the playground was packed. The park was a counter-pane of picnic blankets and kites, dogs, footballs, boom-boxes and hot cross buns.
Today, the only riots were by 4-year-olds on the slide and the only explosions were 25p packets of fun snaps; perhaps not the most appropriate things for pre-schoolers to play with but frankly, in this day and age, the least of our worries.
Brixton, I bloody well love you.