It was Sunday morning and we were off to church.

Except the first church wasn’t really a church, but a piece of street art. We’d driven north to south through a city half-stunned by sun to find Fight Club, the first of seven frescoes between London, New York, and Puerto Rico. Two colonial men, three storeys tall, square up for a brawl on a white wall. The artist, Conor Harrington, likes the contrast between rough and refined, the dynamics of opposition. …


WE ONLY VIEW the past as if by candlelight: everything looks better than it should. Or ever was. We sit back and replay our movies through filters of gold, fish out the good times from the swamp, our hand cupped dripping round a memory, proudly offering it up as perfect. And sometimes rightly so. There are parts of my life that were as good as memory claims, the highs so colourful they drowned out any mediocrity.

So it was odd to revisit a part of the city where I know I’d been objectively content, and feel a coldness. Early October…


If you are often skint, and can’t afford, say, asparagus, but can afford to hang around nonchalantly while a supermarket assistant makes food cheaper — then you probably understand the lure of the yellow sticker. For a single shopper in possession of limited cash must be in want of a reduction.

The yellow stickers are the coveted prey of a certain type of person, somebody who stalks supermarket aisles at the same time every day, following the poor assistant with the gun. Anyone with a steady income and a busy schedule might never realise this species of shopper exists. But…


originally written in autumn 2017

TUCKED DEEP IN THE CONCRETE BELLY of the old power station, I watch a narrative across three screens. Except I don’t just watch. John Akomfrah’s visual installation The Unfinished Conversation (2012) demands active immersion. And if there is a narrative, it’s tangled. Not really a biography of cultural theorist Stuart Hall, Akomfrah’s installation laces together different media to examine Hall’s life and work: a meditation, then, one that includes broader notions of race, identity, journeys, urban Britain, and the social forces that sweep all folk along.

To describe Akomfrah’s installation as material fragmented between three…


I SPENT THE FIRST FIVE YEARS of my life in a big city and got used to the kind of daily existence where you didn’t have to go far to find fulfilment. My parents and I lived in Hammersmith, in a Peabody housing association flat with square sash windows and nineteenth-century bricks an elegant shade of sand. They re-tarmacked the estate the summer I learned to cycle, the summer before we left, and the clean dark-grey surface felt smooth and good under my wheels. In the tiny garden between Blocks E and F, sunflowers wobbled twice as tall as me…


IT’S JULY 2013 and there’s a heatwave. We’re staying in the Peak District, in the house where George Eliot wrote Adam Bede. It is square and white with giant doorways and wide floorboards. The fields on all four sides are occasionally occupied by a herd of sheep. They spend the long hot days with their mouths to the grass. Sometimes they chomp so loud you hear it all the way from the belly of the house. Every so often the herd drifts leftways towards the farm buildings and a stillness falls over the fields until their return.

It’s July 2013…


Over the 2016/17 winter break I rode buses between Baltimore, Toronto, Montreal, and New York City. There was a lot of snow.

I wrote about the snow, among other things, on my old blog, and named the series after a Jeffrey Lewis song. You can find the posts in the link below.

Roll bus roll, take me off, a rolled sweatshirt makes the window soft…


I lived in Berkeley, California for nine months. (Then I roamed the rest of the USA for three.)

I documented the California months on my old blog. I am too lazy to import and format all nine posts, but you can find them via the link below.

They’re a nice read, though I could be biased.


IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT at the Clapham Grand, the stage lights are low, the room teeming with beer bottles, Bruce shirts, and bandanas. But the Boss himself is nowhere to be seen. That’s because this high-spirited gathering of fans young and old aren’t here for Bruce Springsteen himself, but for the all-girl covers band breathing new fire into his songs.

The She Street Band formed in 2016, after bassist Jody Orsbon saw Springsteen live for the first time at London’s Wembley Stadium that summer. His performance with the E Street Band blew her away, but it was the infectious energy of…


LIKE AMERICA, like most things in life, there’s an easy, surface-level reading of Bruce Springsteen: stars-and-stripes thick-necked denim-clad bombastic muscle bro who sings about blue-collar workers and cars and chasing girls on Friday nights. Dad-rock alert! But when you really listen to him, read about him, see him sweat before your eyes, that image explodes into multiple layers, as complex as the country he sings about.

Springsteen on Broadway is a fast-track to exploding those layers, the myth laid bare under industrial stage light. The performance makes sense of the feelings his music and live shows give you. On Broadway…

Kate French-Morris

Such is life, such is happiness

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