Saturday 24 March 2018

A nice, friendly neighbourhood welcome

Katy Harrington

I'm settling into my new home. This east end neighbourhood is very different from my last east end neighbourhood. Before, when I told people where I lived, they'd say 'ooooh, cool'. Now they say 'huh? where?' My old homeground is the kind of place where people Instagram their breakfast, blog about their clothes and no one has what yer mam would call a 'proper' job. Shoreditch likes to think it's raw and edgy but it's as edgy as a tennis ball and the only thing raw about it is the superfood salad you just paid too much for. The new hood is proper grimy. My local shop is dirt cheap, full of terrifying and mysterious tinned food and run by a one-eyed Turk. If he ever gives up being a greengrocer, he'd make an excellent Bond bad guy.

Last week, on one of the warmest nights of the year so far I was walking home, with a bag of free cherries from the one-eyed man in my hand when a couple of 'youfs' in a white Range Rover slowed down beside me and threw a supercan of beer at my head. Thankfully it missed, hit a wall, split and burst open like a watering can having a fit, white foam spraying from every direction.

If I hadn't been as stunned as a Tasered cow I would have picked the can up and hurled it at their rear window as they drove off. Instead I did my best outraged John McEnroe impression ('You cannot be serious!') and then muttered something about people who drive SUV's in cities being shitty people hiding behind shitty cars. (Although technically a brand new white Range Rover is not so much shitty as tasteless, a bit like Victoria Beckham's wardrobe in 2006).

Anyway, I didn't think much of it (except 'what a waste of a can of Budvar') until I got home to an empty house and realised I felt scared. I double locked the doors for fear they might double back with a milkshake from McDonalds or a can of Sprite.

Tomorrow, when I go to the shop to get milk, I'll ask the one-eyed man how much he charges for protection.

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