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Sunday, 22 March 2015

IN SEARCH OF ECHOES AND GHOSTS

 
Caitlin Moran, The Times Columnist of the year, can be very contentious. She can also be clever, canny and  openly supportive of  campaigns she believes in. In this weekend's Times magazine supplement she writes vividly about the fight to save  London's Soho from extinction - in words I  wish I had written myself:

'Where do you go, and what do you do, when you go to Paris, New York, Berlin or Dublin?' she asks. You don't just go to a place; you travel to see if you can see other times, too:you go to the old parts, to hunt echoes and ghosts.

'You look for footsteps and fingerprints of Bowie, Dickens, Gainsbourg, Joyce - the thrill of being able to stand on a doorstep and say, 'This is the doorstep they would have used. They came here for a reason and I have, too. This place (Soho) is a matrix, a melody, a curation - a carefully constructed and unique thing - known across the world. To change too much of it is for it to cease to exist.'

 Modern and forward-thinking as she is, Caitlin Moran believes that too much change would be a disaster for the metropolis and ultimately for mankind, especially when it  'blow(s )away those tiny streets of Soho - the sticky  basements, coffee houses, guitar shops and furtive corners...... and replace(s) them all with a new plan:executive flats and office space rendered in uniform International Architecture.

'If Soho goes,' she concludes, 'there is truly nothing left in this city that can't be sold.'

Any Londoners out there? What do you think?


Talking of the past, I'd like to congratulate Sharon Bradshaw on the publication of her debut novel The Monk Who Cast A Spell.




  Durstan, a 17 year old 8th century Monk at the Monastery on Iona, falls in love with Ailan, becomes involved with Beth when he thinks he has lost her, then is injured in a Viking raid. He doubts his Christian belief because of the magic of the old Gods whom people still worship in 794AD.....

 Follow the link to find out more:

The Monk Who Cast a Spell


9 comments:

Sharon Bradshaw said...

Thank you, Marilyn, for a great post and mentioning The Monk who Cast a Spell :)

Guernsey Girl said...

It's a pleasure, Sharon - I'm really looking forward to reading your book.

Barbara Fisher said...

I’m not a Londoner, but I love it and just wish the planners would leave it alone. Good on Caitlin Moran and you too.

Guernsey Girl said...

I'm so glad you agree, Barbara. We need to keep hold of the past. It will never come back...

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

Destroy Soho? I can't imagine. It's in the top 5 of my list of places to visit. Progress isn't necessarily progress.
Still waiting on my book. It must be on a very sloooow boat :))

Guernsey Girl said...

Glad you feel as strongly as I do, Francie! Please let me know when the book finally arrives...;)

Francie...The Scented Cottage Studio said...

It's here ! Yayyyyy ! ... I'm going to visit my children Wednesday and taking it with me. I usually get a bit of quiet time up there. Honestly, that's why I go :))
(())

Guernsey Girl said...

Hi Francie - so glad that it has ARRIVED! I sent this message before but somehow it didn't show up...LOVELY to hear from you. Keep me posted. xxx

Artemis J Jones said...

I think that Americans would have the same reaction if some urban planner tried to change New Orleans or perhaps that tiny spot in NYC we refer to as The Village.
Urban Planners can be like a computer writing a book, no real form or culture.