I don't mean to give the impression that there is nothing going on in my life right now apart from having to deal with the Pipex useless tossers. But...
There's nothing going on in my life now, apart from having to deal with the Pipex useless tossers.
If nothing else, onionbagblog over the past month serves as a useful personal record as to how utterly, utterly useless Pipex is as a company, and hopefully as a red alert for anyone else thinking of switching ISP's.
Tedious, but necessary, Pipex useless tosser update:
31/07/08 - 10:30
An engineer called late on Wednesday afternoon:
'Good news, Sir - we've identified what the problem is at the exchange. This will be corrected in the next twenty-four hours.'
Hurrah! Finally some progress. Shame I had to resort to door stepping Pipex to obtain 'emergency escalation' status.
But wait - what's this?
A phone call from the unhelpful help centre an hour later.
'Sir, there's a problem with the connection at your property. We need to book an engineer to enter your premises and sort this out as soon as possible.'
I'm going nowhere, luv. The sooner the better.
I didn't like to point out the contradiction in communication. Two for the price of one etc. If an engineer was going to be at the exchange, as well as a home visit, somewhere along the line and my Pipex problem should be resolved.
A booking was made for between 8-1 on Thursday morning. I couldn't sleep the night before - it felt like Christmas Eve as an eight year-old: the modern interweb! Back working again! Such wonders!
And so I cleared my schedule for Thursday morning, which seeing as though I can't work right now, this simply meant no lovely lido morning session as I sat in and waited for the Great Fixer to come and fiddle with his wires. Meanwhile the exchange chap should be doing something similar, and just like constructing the Channel Tunnel, somewhere in the middle, both sides would meet.
But never the twain shall meet. Not with the Pipex useless tossers.
Twiddling my thumbs early Thursday morning (varnishing a front door, actually) and the phone rang. It was my old friend, the unhelpful help centre.
'Good morning, Sir. We have discovered a fault with your Pipex broadband connection.'
Deep, deep breath. I stuck my nose in the tin of varnish, inhaled strongly to try and create a chemical reaction that would stop me from shouting out 'YOU USELESS TOSSER!' at a rather loud volume down the line.
'Yep, carry on...'
'OK, Sir. There is no problem with the exchange. We think that some of your cables at home may be set up incorrectly. We would like to talk you through how to plug your splitter cable from the phone socket into your router.'
Fuck the varnish. I now need my local crack house.
'Hold your horses, luv. Please let me explain. There IS a problem on the exchange, or so I have been told by an engineer. I also took a booking for an engineer to visit me, round about now. Are you telling me that this isn't going to happen?'
'Sir, I need you to find where your phone socket is in your house. Would you like me to describe what it looks like to you? Sir? SIR?'
Sir has gone for a long walk. He may be sometime. He probably still won't be online when (if) he returns.
And so yeah, I door stepped Pipex HQ, demanding an explanation as to why the useless tossers have failed to provide me with my pre-paid broadband connection for the past thirty days. Don't even mention the four-figure sum in lost income. I foolishly didn't.
A fine way to spend a mid-week afternoon, dealing face-to-face with the Pipex puppet who I'm not supposed to have any contact with. But with the unhelpful help centre out-sourced over a thousand miles away, I looked a little closer to home for a fix. It's not as though I'm short on time, what with my main income source cut off sometime since pre-Glasto.
Yep, that long ago.
I sat down in the poncey West End settee reception area with Mr & Mrs Corporate Suit. I think it was the first time they had actually met a member of the great unwashed, and believe me, after a Sunny Stockwell to Tottenham Court Road sprint special, my yellow lycra and I certainly were cautioning on the 'un' side of washed.
I showed Mr & Mrs C.S. the onionbagblog logbook of Pipex failure.
Lies, lies and damn lies?
Oh, pass actually.
And blimey Charlie, you never guess what? They only tried to flog me a phone service on top of my current package. I had to point out that this wouldn’t be a great deal of use to me:
'How would I be able to phone in and report Pipex broadband errors if I had a phone contract with you as well? That would mean daily visits to see you two on the poncey West End settee.'
The sales pitch came to an abrupt end.
Details were exchanged, grievances were put across and we agreed to stay in touch. It was like marriage guidance gone wrong on the modern interweb. It was all rather civilised; you break my legs and I say thank you when you offer me crutches.
And so I cycled back to obb HQ II, unsure what to make of the meeting. At least I feel I have finally used all avenues available to fix the fault. And there lies the problem - I'VE had to run my arse around town, trying to get back online. And don't forget I'm paying Pipex for the privilege as well.
It's all such an exhausting process: daily phone calls to the out-sourced unhelpful help centre, letter writing to Pipex HQ, door stopping Pipex HQ. Phew - it's a good job I haven't got my schedule full with freelancing commitments from home right now.
Back in the 80's and my anger and frustration was focussed on central Government. The Wicked Witch was the source of all evil, an identifiable figure in which to organise and protest around.
In the faceless, corporate, service-centred (ha!) world of Gordon's fag end Britain '08, all of my anger is now out-poured (not out-sourced) at some useless tosser transparent organisation. A big clap though for good 'ol Companies House, who helped me track down Pipex HQ to a central London address.
'What do we want?'
'High speed broadband for onionbagblogger!'
'When do we want it?'
'Um, some time in the next thirty days would be nice.'
Back at base and I received a phone call (BT landline, natch) from Mrs C.S.
'You've been put on high level escalation,' she informed me.
Blimey. I know I've been a bit down about all of this broadband nonsense, but it hasn't quite come to a lone walk out to the woods just yet.
'Are you at home?' she asked?
'Yep, I'm at home, and still offline,' I couldn't help adding.
*she actually said that*
The end result is... a phone call from a Pipex engineer later in the afternoon.
Groundhog Day, good to go.
Short of storming the Pipex HQ barricades and nicking their broadband connection, there's not a lot else I can do. The 'escalation' aspect is at least accurate. What other line of service does it require the user to make the escalation in order to get results?
Dodgy heart: self-diagnosis and then you demand an operation sometime in the next thirty days?
I've heard similar tales over the past month during my time offline. Pipex aren't the only useless tosser ISP, but hey - they're MY useless tosser ISP.
Mr Engineer did call, although considerably later than was arranged. It certainly beats the half dozen or so times I’ve been stood up by a sweaty BT engineer in the past week.
I asked him how the work was going, having been reliably informed by my not very helpful helpline chap earlier in the day that:
'An engineer has been working on your case since 7:40 this morning. Rest assured, Pipex is doing everything to get you back online. Is there anything else Pipex can do for you, Sir?'
JUST GET MY BLOODY BROADBAND SORTED, YOU USELESS TOSSER!
But it was blanks all round from Mr Engineer.
'Um, We haven't been to the exchange yet.'
So what about the spare-part that I was told needed replacing? How about the tests that are being carried out on my line from the exchange? 7:40 this morning, my good man, and all that?
'I think something has been lost somewhere in the communication, mate.'
You don't say. Must have been lost along with my bloody broadband connection.
'Good morning, Mr Pipex! Day 28 offline and I'm just making the daily call for the lack of progress for today.'
'Oh, Sir... that's Baaaddddd.'
'Yes, it is Baaaddddd. Really REALLY Baaaddddd.'
Sham on, you useless mother f-er tossers.
*I didn't say that obviously. My old age (day 28 offline) has led me to lead a more civilised, subserveant approach to everyone's favourite useless tosser ISP.*
'OK, I apologise for calling. So sorry to have troubled you. Please forgive me for paying my invoice for the period I have been offline. I'm not sure where I found the money from to be honest, given that I have lost a month of my freelancers salary.'
You'd get better odds of Michael Jackson reclaiming his King of Pop title than Pipex putting me back online.
I'm a lover, not a fighter. But if Mr Pipex ever shows his face around these parts then I'll lamp the geezer.
Apparently you'll be working with thousands of people under you.
Yesterday's news, today [not a link as such]
In the work Inbox first thing this morning:
There is a problem with the PA wires, which means that random stories from the past few weeks are appearing in the breaking news feed. Please treat any copy coming through with caution and make sure it is today's news.
Your new bill is due to be created in the next 14 days. Thank you for paying by Direct Debit. We will collect your payment of £14.99 on or immediately after 07/08/08.
Once again we would like to thank you for choosing Pipex as your service provider. If you have any questions, or would like to discuss other Pipex services, we are here to assist and look forward to hearing from you.
Gary Rodgus (useless tosser) Head of Customer Service Pipex
Hey there Gary (useless tosser)
Many thanks for the invoice. Just one point though:
Um, shouldn't it be me invoicing you, seeing as though Pipex has failed to provide me with my broadband service for almost a month now? At current calculations I've lost £x in income as a result of not being able to work from home.
Live! (knobber) blogging from the Crystal Palace Grand Prix meet, sitting rather uncomfortably next to some old coffin dodger who keeps on giving me a sharp dig in the elbows.
Refresh and scroll down for updates.
A warm South London summer evening greeting from the grand old stadium at Crystal Palace as the cheats, freaks and birds with great bums all gather for a final fling before catching the plane to Beijing. Something to celebrate for sure. If only I had the elbow room. Old bloke to my left had marked out his territory well before I arrived.
'Excuse me, I politely enquired. 'Would you be able to move your bag please so that I have some leg space?
The old boy had come prepared with a rucksack that would see him through a month away in Beijing, and plonked it down right where my size 8's should be resting.
'Excuse me, I politely enquired. 'Would you be able to move your your bag please so that I have some leg space?
Shit - he's not dead, is he?
And so I shifted the rucksack myself, placing it next to his leg space, shortly after checking that he was still breathing. I needn't have bothered. Once the bag had returned to its rightful resting place, the coffin dodger retaliated by poking me sharply in the ribs.
An eye for an eye, a bruised rib for a bruised rib. We could be in for a long evening...
I resisted the temptation to take a (sponsor friendly) Union Flag (ALWAYS a Union Flag - it only becomes a Jack if it is flown at sea.) Actually, there was no temptation. I last flew the flag back in '77 as part of my school's Silver Jubilee celebrations. And that was only because there was the promise of free shandy at the school disco later in the evening for all flag flyers.
A bag search was in place at the gate. How the fuck did the elbow prodding coffin dodger make it in with his house moving size carrier? The stewards took one look at my sweaty face following the Croxted Road climb and flagged me through.
On the track and the action is coming faster than my cycling effort up to Crystal Palace. We've already seen Asafa Powell in the 100m heats (10:06 - blink and you'll miss it. I did,) Kelly Sotherton shaking her thing in the sand pit and in the second heat of the men's 100m, one Richard Thompson running away with it. The old boy's not lost it since his Fairport Convention days.
The historical Crystal Palace Golden Mile has just been contested. A proud race, dating back to the old White City and first ran back in 1953. All the greats of world athletics have won the race. Wonderful then to see it being brought bang up to date, and re-branded with some R&B bollocks blasting out as the elite athletes run around the old stadium.
The race programme has a late edition to the events this evening: sharpen yer elbow with a bottle top owner, and then shove it down the face of the big bag wielding old boy with elbows the size of a large cardboard box.
What a strange event the steeplechase is, especially so when run by women. We've just watched a dozen or so females run around the track, tumble into a pit full of water and then almost knock themselves out as they clatter into a high hurdle. It would make more sense if broadcast as a specialist event on Nuts TV.
No sign of Dwayne Chambers, aye. GB gold medal hopeful at the Olympics, Philips Idowu is warming up right in front of us in. Ever the showboater, although I'm not quite sure about the Santa style headgear. His coach is sitting right in front of us. I'm tempted to offer some wise words of wisdom:
'Hop, skip and jump!
Men's hurdles, here we come...
Doncta just love LIVE! (knobber) blogging?
And so there I was, all poised with the seven inch super zoom, lens trained in on the mid-hurdle with a frame burst selected on my camera. On your marks, set... GO!
Still, I've got a five frame burst of some rather nice stationary hurdles.
Men's triple jump is about to leap into action. Standing next to the pit is Hazel Irvine, flirting outrageously with Colin Jackson. Well, you would, wouldn't you? The Welsh hurdler looks like he'd rather get jiggy, Bro, with the truly shocking electroclash coming out of the Crystal Palace speakers. Well, you would, wouldn't you?
Men's wheelchair 1500m currently burning up the track. Top work, fellas.
Elbow digging old boy has gained my respect. Turns out he's just some obsessive weirdo who likes recording every minor detail of events that he's been to. Mmmm - now who does that remind me of. He's not only writing down every time for every event, but also recording his own marks out of ten for each hop, skip and jumper. Unbelievable elbows, bloody big bag though.
We've had two world record attempts in the women's high jump. 'We see this every year,' remarked the fragrant mrs onionbagblogger. She's not wrong, and we've yet to see a world record in the event.
Dean Macey has just been given the flirtation treatment by Hazel Irvine. I thought she was going to snog him at one stage.
The hurdles are up once again, quicker than Dwayne Chamber's blood levels. The women are soon to be cocking their trailing leg every 10m as they stagger around in public. Just another Friday night out in South London then.
All eyes (seven inch super zoom) trained in on Kelly Sotherton.
Two false starts and a major, MAJOR fuck up in the women's hurdles. The third row of hurdles were placed a couple of metres too far ahead of their place on the track. These things matter to a top class athlete. Half the field pulled up short, including Mss Kelly. Cue much confusion, similar to the Grand National in '93 that never was. The result? Yer girl Kelly protested too much, resulting in a re-run.
Camera (and zoom) at the ready once again.
Meanwhile the crappy sponsor friendly lucky seat competition has been upgraded this year. Previous Crystal Palace events have required the entire crowd to stand up, and then block by block, row by row, spectators were eliminated leaving one lucky sod to walk away with a crappy car. The competition only applies this year if you've forked out a fiver for the over-priced programme.
Hurdles are being put away (probably in the wrong order,) although we've been told that the women's hurdles will happen later in the evening.
I'm actually making conversation with elbows old boy now. He turned round to me and said:
'Phworrrrr!!!!' when Kelly Sotherton bent over to tie her shoes up.
All the top female talent is lined up for the start of the women's 400m. Gonna attempt a proper LIVE! (knobber) blog. Um, the gun's gone. They're running. Quite fast. Here they come. Bend. Wow. That's quick. Nice thighs. Woh! One of the girls won!
Light fast fading, but plenty of track and field still taking place: Phillips Idowu is still in the lead, looking stronger with each jump. The women's high jump is in full swing in the far corner of the stadium, and there's some sort of sprint event getting set up below.
Where to look?
Where's Kelly Sotherton?
Here we go, Crystal Palace, here's THE biggie: the men's 100m final. They're all there - Dwayne Chambers Kim Collins, Craig Pickering, Richard Thompson (love his solo stuff) and Asafa Powell.
A LIVE! (knobber) blog would be woeful. I wouldn't get as far as 'and they're o...'
We've got grandstand view near the finish line. The stadium has fallen silent. Time to stop clattering away on the keyboard.
9.94 seconds later
Yer man Asafa strolled it. Fantastic stuff.
That's just about your lot. There's the re-run of the women's 100m hurdle fuck up, and then we're promised 'a fantastic finale!' They mean dull as ditchwater fireworks of course. I'll be back on the bike and back to Sunny Stockwell long before the first fuse is lit.
There's more to come tomorrow from Crystal Palace, but not from me. UK Athletics have pimped out the South London event to stretch to two days. Twice the excitement, twice the price.
Sometime around mid-afternoon this Sunday and the pelaton will be hitting Paris as Le Tour de France comes to a climax for another year. I plan to be cycling up col de Croxted Road, SE21, completing Le Tour de South London, geezer. Don't even attempt to make some lame doping comparison.
I've spent the past three weeks watching the big boys battle it out over The Alps, inspired enough to improve my own mountain climbing abilities. Except there's not exactly a lot of category one climbs to be found South of the river.
The best it gets is the beast up towards Crystal Palace. Croxted Road is an unforgiving passage for any cyclist. The Brockwell Park stretch begins as a nice, easy flat. With my legs spinning at the recommended 75 - 80 rpm, I can just about get away with wearing lycra.
The pace picks up as you pass the Dulwich College playing fields. It picks up even more if there's any of those Dulwich Mums knocking about.
'Allez! Allez! Allez!' I hear them cry.
It could well be:
'Who's the knobber looking like a reject from a male adult chat line commercial who's about to go arse over tit into that great big truck?'
West Dulwich is where it all goes wrong, and not just in a cycling sense, either. It's here where Col de Croxted Road really kicks in. The 8% road incline increase roughly resembles the 8% property price increase for the area. Witness a grown man running low on all resources, struggling to reach his goal and maintain any sense of dignity wearing a skintight yellow lycra top. And that's just the interview with the bank manager begging for the mortgage.
It all becomes clear as you turn the sharp bend into College Road and the old Crystal Palace TV transmitter looks down from high up above. VERY high up above - there's still some distance left to travel.
Meanwhile back on the Champs Elysees and the big boys of Le Tour are receiving their final race instructions from the team cars bringing up the rear. Le Tour de South London has Bazza in his Ford Cortina beeping you from behind as he's got 'a bleedin' BBQ to get to and 'aint got time for no nonces wearing yellow lycra.'
No pain, no gain, Bazza.
One final push and the glorious sight of Crystal Palace comes into view. That's not something you read in the official race programme for Le Tour. Charming though the SE19 area is, best to get back down Col de Croxted Road as quick as possible. Especially so with Bazza back on the road soon after his BBQ has been rained off.
Other notable South London mountain climbs include Lordship Lane (not quite as steep as Croxted, but plenty of feeding stations - artichokes are all the rage on Le Tour,) and Battersea Rise ('cos... it rises, for about a minute, anyway.)
Three weeks of cycling on the other side of the Channel may be challenging, but anyone who survives the Croxted Road climb deserves a podium finish with the dolly birds and the big bottle of bubbly. The best it gets is Crystal Palace bus garage. Who needs the rustic French scenery when you can cycle around South London and get to see the back of a bus?
Pipex Internet, in my opinion* are complete and utter useless tossers.
There, I feel better for having said that. onionbagblog has been held together for the past three weeks with a bit of string, some cellotape and not much love from Pipex. Day 21 in the obb house and still no bloody broadband. Don't even mention the 3 40kbps mobile 'broadband' dongle.
Twenty-one phone calls have been made to the not very helpful help line. Outsourced, overseas and offering about as much assistance as talking to an Orang-utan who has just sat down for his evening dump. Yep, Pipex really is that shite.
Twenty-one days, twenty-one phone calls and enough suggestions, excuses and downright lies for every day of the week:
Your router is the problem; the atmospheric conditions are not great right now (what?!) we need to open a new account for you; your line is being re-aligned (double what?!) an engineer will be calling at your house at 8am on Sunday morning (an engineer didn't call at my house at 8am on Sunday morning); the issue has been escalated to the third line of the third party (now lost me totally) and you will be back online by first thing on Wednesday morning.
Which I wasn’t.
I know that I'm dealing with some poor script clone who is probably being paid the same amount per year that I have spent phoning up the useless tossers over the past three weeks. But when Pipex masks itself behind an outsourced call centre, the outsourced call centre is going to feel the full force of my offline frustration:
'What is the average time frame for turning around this problem?' I rather optimistically enquired.
Asking a question wasn't part of the Pipex clone's script.
Bullshit, bullshit, my line... Bullshit, bullshit, my line.
'Can you say that I will be back online in a month? Six months, maybe? What about a year? Will Pipex be able to connect me this time next year?'
Bullshit, bullshit, my line... Bullshit, bullshit, my line.
And so there we have it - the useless tossers can't even guarantee to have my broadband connection back in action by this time next summer.
And so how have I survived offline in a world where if you can't tweet then you're toast? I've been borrowing a bit of (lunchtime) bandwidth from the office; likewise for my weekly visits to Somewhere in SE17.
I've also become a regular at the wonderful South Lambeth Library, where free WiFi is on offer (although the 6pm kicking out time caused a few problems last week with an ftp upload still in progress. Standing outside the library on South Lambeth Road, holding my MacBook as the ftp completed probably isn't the best thing to do.)
Plus my period of forced online abstinence has coincided rather nicely with Le Tour, swiftly followed by Test match cricket highlights. Discovering TV once again is scant consolation for saying goodbye to my earning potential as a freelancer from home.
Twenty-one days from now takes us round to 13th August. England will have completed their summer Test series, the new football season will be underway and intelligent life will have been discovered on Mars.
Meanwhile I’ll probably still be offline.
*I think that just about covers all bases, although I am prepared to present empirical evidence in a court of law to demonstrate exactly why Pipex are useless tossers.
A fine way to start the evening as I cycled home from Farringdon along Fentiman Road on Tuesday evening. The SW8 street has recently had some calming measures installed. This all means nothing to me; I'm as calm as a cycling cucumber as I slowly make my way along Fentiman, and wearing the green lycra, I'm halfway to looking like a cucumber as well.
Calm down! Calm down! etc.
Which is exactly what a Royal Mail driver and a Foxton's estate agent knobber weren't doing as they eyeballed each other from behind their Petrol Head compartments.
Apparently there's supposed to be a Gentleman's agreement as you approach a calming measure that will only allow one vehicle to pass. My knob'scar's bigger than yours, etc, and so the two rutting stags settled in for the duration, neither of them prepared to give the other the right of way.
Two things you need to know:
(i) The majority of Postie van drivers around these parts drive like pricks. Probably something to do with strict time bonuses and wanting to get home in time for Big Brother.
(ii) Foxton employees are pricks. It's part of the job description.
After comparing the loudness of each other's car horns, a game of Insult Each Other with Profanities Until Stalemate is Achieved followed. It's not a great deal of fun to be honest. I gave up after about a minute and simply cycled through the gap by the calming measure.
Cool as a cucumber etc.
I reached The Oval end of Fentiman, looked back, only to see car doors being slammed as the two chaps decided to resolve their roadside disagreement by lamping one another.
Calm down! Clam down! etc. Just like a pencil with no lead, it was all rather... pointless.
Meanwhile I was back at base in time for the start of Le Tour highlights, ever the smug cyclist.
Another year, another Lambeth Show. Traditionally dubbed 'the BEST weekend in South London,' the annual town comes to the country weekend in Brockwell Park is perhaps the only thing that the Rotten Borough does well.
Except this year the Lambeth Show was... um, so so. Actually that's slightly harsh. It was still fun, still full of surprises and best of all, still fantastically FREE. Never look a gift horse, and all that, but the Country Show has been flogged like a dead gee gee this year.
As ever with the Rotten Borough, the bottom line is hard cash. Realising that 100,000 or so local people in the same park is something of a captive audience, the Lambeth Council knobbers out-sourced the Show to a new management team this year.
As is ever the case with local government, out-sourcing often leads to a loss in quality, coupled with a price hike. Not for the good people of Lambeth (and let is be said once again: The Lambeth Show is FREE!) but a rent increase for the many local businesses, organisations and charities that rely upon the Lambeth Show to spread the word of their good work.
The end result was a showground looking a little sparse, lacking the local vibrant buzz provided by the many varied (and sometimes plain bonkers) Brixton based organisations. The Lambeth Show may as well have been the Loughborough Show, such was the lack of locality. But hey - it remained FREE!
Instead of the local historic societies we had an Ann Summers stall (swinging Lambeth, and all that,) a knobber Petrolhead showroom and a new development this year, the crappy Council Avenue. A row of stalls were set out by the Rotten Borough, flying the flag for the good work carried out by the Council. The Environmental Services stand didn't sit too well alongside the knobber Petrolhead showroom.
Council Avenue may as well have been closed for the weekend; you don't come to your local show to hear the crappy local Council bang on about how bloody good they are. Look elsewhere however and the Lambeth Show was still the BEST weekend in South London.
Anyone who can't get excited by ferret racing in the Rotten Borough deserves to live in Loughborough. Likewise at the sight of a wooden cow being milked by a couple of school kids.
But the highlight had to be the horticultural section, rosettes and ribbons on hand for the Best in Show across the various categories. As ever, the vegetable sculpture competition stole the show. Magic Roundabout was bonkers; Amy Greenhouse was just sheer genius. Time for rehab, etc.
It was around this time that the Chucklehead cider kicked in. So much so that I didn't miss the almighty mess up on the Main Stage that stopped headliners Aswad performing as the running order was behind schedule. You can just hear that nice Farmer Eavis say:
'I'm terribly sorry, Mr Jay-Z, we appear to have run out of time. It's an early night for you, young fella.'
DO turn around, blah blah blah.
Only in the Rotten Borough, etc.
I reckon that's what you call doing the Lambeth Walk.
It's become something of a Brixton tradition to take in the Urban Art Fair along Josephine Avenue ahead of a visit to the Lambeth Show. The celebration of local South London artists is something of the calm before the storm, a moment of artistic solitude ahead of the Chucklehead Cider silliness over at Brockwell Park.
Joesphine Avenue has now outgrown Urban Art, with the neighbouring SW2 streets also showcasing the best art in Brixton (and slightly beyond.) With sponsorship also now on board, Brixton Art has come a long way from the early years of a small stretch of paintings attached to the street railings.
For one weekend of the year, the paintings, prints and photographs become part of the street furniture. It's a shame they can't remain all year round, adding a peaceful presence to a Brixton street which sadly has something of a dodgy reputation once it becomes dark.
I was actually in the market to buy some art this year. An aquatic pool piece was perfect, all but in size. The price raised a few eyebrows, but I could just about justify it. Still, what I saved on a stylish piece of original art, I pissed away on Chucklehead cider.
Brixton has changed somwehat since the days when Vincent could call himself a local resident. I think we're still some time away from Sunflower style prices though.