Thursday, 20 January 2011

VG Suburban Guides

If you want to take a look, I am currently doing over at The True Suburban Standard Advanced, these Recording Britain, Shell Guide suggested VG Suburban Guides

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Updates & updates

Just a reminder that no new posts are being made here (other than this one obviously).  Folk suburb is up and running at The True Suburban Standard Advanced.  I would also like to point anyone that might be interested in folk song, folk suburb and all similar in the direction of Cabin'd Cribb'd Confin'd, the paper 'zine of folk suburb - the first issue is nearly ready and there is a post about it.

I hope you will take a look at these things.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Fare Ye Well!

Oyez! Please let it be known that this, sadly, will be the last post to this blog.  I have, though, started a new one, at The True Suburban Standard Advanced, which I hope to be a bit more focused than this one was and hope that people who have looked in at this one from time to time will visit there also.  I have also set up a blog for a new Folk Suburb print 'zine, which will come out after Christmas, which can be found at cabin'd cribb'd confin'd

The first post is now up at The True Suburban Standard Advanced, called Decorative Concrete Block #1: Castle.  I hope you will take a look.

Thursday, 7 October 2010


A garage in our street was demolished yesterday, by builders who arrived in a glossy black SUV like a party limo.
The garage was one of the old wooden ones, with a pitched roof. Disused, it had had a mouldering boat in front of it once, but this had disappeared. Now, it had greened down the front and the set of antlers above the door had gone green, too. Another of these garages survives round the corner, mounted with a good luck horseshoe, instead of the antlers, above the door.
With this gone it got me thinking that, while garages have not, for a long time, actually stored cars, only now are they being dismantled wholesale, and going the way of other fixtures of the suburb: the tv aerials, car ports, front gardens and, soon, satellite dishes.
The suburban roofline in fact would be back to the 1930s or 50s if it wasn't for the chimneys are going too, replaced, if they are replaced at all, by silvery tubes.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Turning Cartwheels

I remember, back in the early/mid 80s, driving to and fro in the suburb with my dad, on ordinary journeys, spotting the houses that had cart wheels in the front garden.
These were usually propped against the wall, underneath the living room window.
Often, the house had coach lamps, either side of the front door, too. And these are more likely to survive; the archaeology of the suburb.
The wheels are all gone, replaced by a rash of solar lamps evoking Greek or Floridian holiday apartment complex paths. Were the wheels a reaction to the dismantling of the narratives of life undertaken by the government of the day? A retreat in the imagination in time of anxiety to a pre or early industrial state? Is this what the solar lamps now represent, showing, too, that the imaginative refuges of the suburb are finally no longer instinctively the rural past but the TV and the dream holiday?
But the old ways still lurk; the place names, the irritating curve in a street to the 4x4 driver, the veneer of civilisations but thin.

Monday, 20 September 2010

And The Devil Will Rise

Yesterday was the annual family blackberrying trip, and a fine time was had by all.
The hedges were packed with blackberries, aswell as rosehips and haws; and were all picked to the scents of honeysuckle (still in the hedge) and fennel and the annoyance of a group of linnets. And drizzle. The panic was on because this was the last weekend we could make it before 29th September, when the devil rises from below to piss on the blackberries. I don't think we would allow the picking to go ahead after this date.
I remember when I was small we used to be sent out beyond the suburb, the cul-de-sacs and Closes, armed with buckets, and a bottle of orange Corona, to the common beyond. We wouldn't come back until all the buckets were filled and we wouldn't go up there after 29th September - my mum wouldn't allow it.

This was, and is, a truly felt tradition of folk suburb.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Sweet Chestnut Poesy

See this sweet chestnut tree in our local park, which has characteristically twisted its bark and then become the site of graffiti. This is folk suburb.