On the Road South… to Chelsea


So I’ve done the thing I never thought I’d be doing at the age of 25 – I’ve moved to Chelsea! Yes – I am a poodle walking, designer garment wearing, Whole Foods eating lady (minus the poodle, designer clothes and Whole Foods grub). But boy does it feel good. Out of the parents nest and into another very upmarket world. Each morning I jog down the river for a few seconds, bathe in my gigantic bath and wave hi to smart neighbours. This shit never happened in Shepherd’s Bush.

No, no – in ‘The Bush’, people ask you if you’re waiting for a smack dealer when you leave Tesco. Walking is offensive. It means you are a) sober and b) trying to get somewhere. I was once given a look of disgust and a murmured drunken telling off ‘look at you -walking around’ Now I walk around freely. Well, kind of. I can’t help but feel I look very trampy for the area, especially when I find full packs of Marlboro Lights on the street. Next it will be Foie Gras.


Another bonus of being just by the river is I’m near my sister, who lives in Brixton. So one night I headed to where she works – the Whirled Cinema, which lurks under the arches. It is impossible to find, but I’ve got to say – when I walked in I felt like Christopher Columbus… Perhaps Chris also had a sister helping him out?

It is quite a place. You order cheap drinks at the bar (well, cheap compared to Chelsea), hit the balcony for a rolled up cigarette, and then (the very best part) order a Firezza pizza from the bar, which is delivered just before the movie starts. A 5er if you are modest/careful, but I am neither so I went for the monster for a tenner. Plus – the films are brilliant. You won’t get any The Holiday or Knocked Up crap on here. Only the finest from Hollywood or documentaries, so your eyes are opened, your mouth waters over a pizza and your brain gets nicely nicely boozed on some fine wine. What more could a chick want? A one night stand with Adrien Brody perhaps. but the pizza, wine and film will do for now…

So after sticking my face in the peperoni dream on my lap, I focused on the movie. We watched ‘On the Road’ which was a fascinating documentary about people who live on the A5. It follows people who dreamt of London, but have settled on the road as it is all they can possibly afford. The cinematography is extraordinary and captures the misery and loneliness of those followed. A man named Billy, who has no family or existence beyond the pub, dies of alcoholism in his bed. He is only discovered because the filmmakers were hoping to interview him again.

A young Indian man has been waiting for years for his wife to get the visa she needs to join him. He works in a coach terminal and remarks that when people migrate to the UK, they leave behind the two worlds they have clung to. Their home and the ideal, England, which was meant to offer them a better life. It was very moving.

It was soon time for me to get on my road – just over the bridge and a hell of a lot nicer than the A5. Me and the Thames resting our heads, and getting a good old snooze.

Ahh, so this is what smug feels like…