Some time ago now, we traded on the London markets. This sounds rather glamourous, and suggests that we may have been stockbrokers or hedge fund managers or something.
However, for us, the phrase ‘London market’ means – or meant – Camden, Spitalfields, Greenwich, Brick Lane, Portobello and Brixton. I’ve had to explain this to people in social situations more than once, and I apologise if you, too, share their disappointment. For the record, we are intimately familiar with the financial sector of London, but only because we used to sell cuff link boxes from a trestle table off Threadneedle Street. Again, I apologise. It isn’t going to get much sexier than this, I’m afraid.
Towards the end of 2014, extensive refurbishment work was simultaneously undertaken at every market in which it was worthwhile for us to trade. The disruption caused many of our friends and allies go under, and with the whole grubby ecosystem collapsing around us, we decided to hang up our money belts and do something else. To our surprise, there was nothing else. The awkward silence as that realisation dawned has, to date, lasted four years. You know that feeling when you watch the tube you’ve just stepped off pull away with your phone still on it? Four years of that.
Still, hope springs eternal whether we want it to or not, and here we are: the last hand shandy in Soho, the last chip shop scuffle in Hoxton, the last night bus stabbing in Shoreditch, transplanted to the East Anglian countryside and left to fend for ourselves, like awful latter day evacuees.
Bienvenue à The Runton Diaries.