DALSTON NOIR #5 The Following

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Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read here Episode #1 | Episode #2 | Episode #3 | Episode #4

Walking up Kingsland High Road, Egon savoured the invigorating effects of his flat white. Hackney used to be one of London’s poorest areas, filled with immigrants and dwellings in need of repair. Now, looking at house and rent prices, this was hard to believe. Mingling with the multi-cultural crowd, Egon feels like a man of the world, glad to have moved away from his village in Shropshire where monoculture and monothinking had taken over even the more advanced human beings.
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DALSTON NOIR #4 Egon Has a Plan

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Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read Dalston Noir #1 Trouble On Kingsland Road
Read Dalston Noir #2 It Was a Dog’s Life After All
Read Dalston Noir #3 The Past Isn’t a Different County

Even though it was already the end of March, the nights were cold and Egon wished his bedsit had central heating, but instead he turned on the gas oven as soon as he got up.

Munching on Weetabix he googles dog breeds and there she is – a Golden Retriever. All the dogs look cute but none of them has the effervescent beauty of Gilda. Eager to find out more about the breed, he learns that Golden Retrievers are cheerful, trustworthy, demonstrative and forgiving – characteristics he had always hoped to find in a girlfriend. It also listed mouthiness, heavy shedding and distinctive doggy odour. Still, he reckons, something he would put up with. Continue reading

DALSTON NOIR #3 The Past Isn’t A Different Country

hipster 1
Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read here Dalston Noir #1 Trouble On Kingsland Road
Read here Dalston Noir #2 It Was a Dog’s Life After All

‘The past lies like a nightmare upon the present.’ (Karl Marx)

Still befuddled, Egon enters his studio flat, which really is the real-estate agency’s term for bedsit, on Graham Road. There always lingered a slight morbid and musty smell in these Victorian houses and Egon resented the fact that he kept looking at the same four walls.

Lying on his bed, he feels as if the walls are closing him on him, or maybe he’d just been here for too long, but as he isn’t paying rent he isn’t complaining.
After splitting up with his ex, he felt lucky not having to move back into a flat-share, which he thought was undignified at the age of 35, but unavoidable in London where being able to live on your own was considered a luxury. Continue reading

DALSTON NOIR #2 It Was A Dog’s Life After All

hipster 1
Egon pondering the meanness of life

Read here DALSTON NOIR #1 Trouble on Kingsland Road

Keeping an eye on Costa Coffee, Egon quickly takes out his iPhone5, which he had found in a bar one night and managed to unlock. The light wasn’t great for photography but he didn’t intent to post the crime-scene pictures on Instagram.
Poor dog, what an end to a life filled with adversity and struggle. He makes a pledge there and then to find out who killed him, because in his mind there was no question that this had been a dogcide. A suspicion which is confirmed when he sees what looks like a stabbing wound on the dog’s right rib cage, very close to what must be the heart, Egon figures.
The stern police-woman’s superior is leaving Costa, heading for them and Egon decides it is high time to disappear in the crowd.

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Meet Egon Schmuck – Hobby Detective

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Egon pondering the meanness of life

This is the first episode of DALSTON NOIR, a weekly Noir-Hipster-Crime-Serial set in London Fields. 

Intro:
Meet Egon Schmuck, 37, Hobby-Detective and antihero, at times filled with existential angst (due to not getting out enough) but mostly calm and currently unemployed. He’s deeply indebted to the UK welfare state because with some housing benefit and the odd cash-in-hand jobs he survives, and not badly.
The seeming wilfulness of his fashionable outfits hides a time-intensive approach of carefully considering various juxtapositions until a satisfying new combination of his Oxfam bargains has transpired. This process takes almost as long as it took forming the sentence about it.
Oxfam has proven a haven for time-rich and purpose-seeking people like Egon and hours fly by when browsing the extensive book section, trays with cutlery and colourful postcard boxes.
Whenever nosy citizens have the cheek to ask Egon, what he does for a living, he replies as throwaway as possible that he is a freelancer, remaining vague about the actual nature of his non-work.
Egon calls himself a London native (though he was born in a little village in Shropshire), his roaming ground is London Fields, not Dalston as he likes to point out, a great place to watch the human condition pass by, filling him with existential thoughts as he sips his coffee on Broadway Market.

Episode #1: Trouble on Kingsland Road

Egon checks his bank account and wonders whether he’ll make it till the end of the month when his housing benefit comes in. Lost in anxious thoughts, he walks down Balls Pond Road, when his attention is suddenly drawn to a crowd of people. His anxiety disperses instantly as he realises that today is his lucky day, as he has just happened upon a crime scene, and he elbows his way into the crowd of ogling by-standers. Continue reading

Dangerous Liaisons – a call to arms!

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Three girls, a Hasselblad and a Dresden Hinterhof is all you need…

This is my gender-bending pictorial take on the delicious Les Liaisons Dangereuses.

I hope it inspires you to add your own flash fiction/images/songs/videos or autobiographical tales of seduction, revenge, love and betrayal in the comments section or by pasting a link to your story!

No Business Like Snow Business

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Snowgirls in Warsaw.

Winter carries the whiff of VapoRub, running noses, parkas, Disney-inspired, tinsel-heavy wonderlands (making you wonder a lot), not wanting to leave the house, man leggings, simmering family feuds surfacing over under-cooked Brussels sprouts, recycled Christmas gifts, optimistic diets and even more optimistic New Year plans, frostbite, reindeer jumpers, pretending Christmas is not happening by loudly singing Heatwave over schmaltzy Santa songs and always remembering that most things can be solved with a glass of mulled wine and chocolate coated gingerbread. Continue reading

How to Cure the Flu or Die in the Process – A Love Story

14  Stages of Developing the Malaise & How to Combat None of Them

men have flu too
Men have flu too

But first of all, how do we attract this most alluring of possible mates?

  1. Work non-stop for an extended period of time.
  2. Make sure you take a combination of underground transport, where the air-shafts and sudden bursts of icy drafts send shivers down your spine.
  3. Take your coat off as soon as you enter the stuffy, crowded, germ-infested carriage.
  4. Work in a place which has air-conditioning so that getting used to an artificially induced cold in late October will make your system work overtime.
  5. Ignore any signs your body sends out to slow down, cause really, it isn’t that bad.
  6. Every time you’ve slept you will feel better until later when you don’t.
  7. Take paracetamol and adopt the placebo-thinking that this will take care of your bodily malfunctions.
  8. Prove to yourself that you are a hero and stronger than you think by going to work anyway. Then watch yourself falter.

    it can only get better
    It can only get better

    What Not To Do Once the Amour Fou Has Overtaken Your Body, Mind and Soul:

  9. Don’t walk into a 24-hour-Tesco without pharmacy with your hat pulled down halfyour face at 11 pm Friday night when the cashier is counting a stash of cash. Because by that time the throat pain is so bad that you croak at him in the hope of receiving pain killers in exchange, or any pill really.

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Being a Legal Alien

fish and chips 1 croppedOr A German In London
*Warning: clichés and stereotypes  abound

I first came to Britain on a class trip in 1992 and nothing prepared me for the melting pot that was and is London. Walking down the street, I couldn’t believe the sheer diversity of faces, nationalities, religions and cultures. This was G. E. Lessing’s dream of (religious) tolerance put into practice in everyday Britain in the late 20th century. Coming from a country where there was hardly any non-German soul living/working/studying/on benefits – this was extraordinary. Continue reading