About Me

"Use every man after his desert, and who should 'scape whipping?"

Monday, 2 September 2013

The deafening sound of collapsing buildings

We're not talking dearly loved Einstürzende Neubauten, we're talking complaints, that is one from London mayor Boris Johnson's sister Rachel that the ceiling of her Notting Hill pad  fell down after prolonged exposure to a Carnival sound system, two days after the carnival ended.

It doesn't surprise me, having felt each and every individual organ within my own fat stomach and rib-cage vibrate at precise moments of sonic resonance as one shimmied one's way past Studio One in Ledbury Road, or at one of forty-four other sound systems and floats.

Trouble is, I love it - and feel strongly that anyone who is lucky enough to live within that golden square mile or two has a cast-iron obligation to put up with the annual Carnival. Or shut up. Or get better insurance!

Of course some were louder than others; even the floats seemed louder to me this year and I am a deaf old mutt. There was one particular sound system that got my eyeballs vibrating - a most peculiar and not totally unpleasant sensation.

Is this sound system in Oxford Gardens London W10 enough to bring the house down?Plaster of Paris is generally quite stiff and it doesn't much like being vibrated, but in London there must be millions of tons of the stuff delicately hanging on for dear life to those flimsy Victorian laths as every new generation finds new ways of shaking the stuff free and down and down onto the always unsuspecting heads of the poor refugees, the clerks, the immigrants, the toffs and the wide-boys and the spivs and the sainted few, the rich bankers quaffing champagne and caviare beneath their gilded but dodgy ceilings, and even - oh shed your tears now, dearest readers, poor lovers, their bodies all that keep each other warm 'neath worn cotton sheets - and then....

From clomping horse-hooves to throbbing Zeppelins, rumbling Routemasters and clanking tube trains 5 metres beneath, the city has always seemed to conspire against its poorly-built living quarters.

Heavy Biblical lesson stuff was always a big feature of deep bass dub roots rock reggae, and they could surely have told us all  about the walls of Jericho and how not to build our brick and plaster houses on these quivering, shifting, blancmange-like lakes of mud we call Greater London.

Now I have to feel for poor Rachel - just a few square metres of ceiling collapse is a horrible thing, as I know in this jerry-built fire damaged servants' quarters of an abode in fucking Clapham. All that dust and soot, and how heavy plaster is!

But - no. She survived, her house has survived. Things were so much worse, esp in the 1940s. Chin up, dear! Brave face on it, innit? Stiff upper!

No comments:

Post a Comment