After two years and nine months of being the girl from Clapham, I’ve thrown a spanner in the works and moved south to Balham.
O Clapham! With your yummy mummies drinking coffee on the Northcote Road, your sophisticated French couples drinking wine on Abbeville Road, the sunbathers on Clapham Common and the joggers who endless circle its edges. How I will miss you!
Still, Balham awaits. On Hildreth Street Market, shopkeepers rigged up an impromptu net between two lamposts last night, and played a doubles game of badminton. As we moved in B reliably informs me that a sofa was being lowered into the street from someone’s window. We’ve got a fishmonger, a butcher, a veg shop, a pretty cafe on the corner, and hot bikram yoga. In po-faced Clapham everyone kept themselves to themselves. One and a half days in and I’ve spoken to lots of our neighbours already.
Our landlord is Greggs the bakers. Once we’d signed the contracts and been handed keys, we got given a Greggs mug and pen, a little like the consolation prize for a cheap, word-based quiz show.
But moving to Balham is no consolation prize. Two stops further along the 155 bus route (I couldn’t give up the bus of dreams, after all), the flat is bigger, council tax is cheaper and we suspect the bills will be much lower. The bustle of Balham high street below us, could you really ask for anything more?