Photo by Johnny Monroe
The sense of nervous tension is palpable on the streets of Southville this Friday evening. The steady buzz of conspiratorial whispering from huddles of strange trousered bearded liberals on North Street fights for space with the mournful melodies of dated trip-hop tunes from bustling cafe bars.
The diversity of it, the chaos! The extra-eager patter of jelly shoes on tidy pavements, the urgent to-and-fro of bicycles on Coronation Road, the impatient queues outside delicatessens, the lingering smell of just cooked lentils in the nostrils of fresh-faced children, the old maids hiking to the community Clean and Green meeting through the fumes of this evening’s traffic. All these are not only fragments, but characteristic frag– (that’s enough scene setting, Ed.)
Yes. It is time. Tomorrow’s papers have been enthusiastically pre-ordered and North Street newsagents are prepared for the early morning onslaught. Within hours Saturday’s Guardian will be on the streets and The Blogger predicts its magical Weekend glossy supplement will contain within its hallowed pages a ‘Let’s move to…’ column on “the Bristol suburb” of Southville…
Who will be in and who will be out? What’s up? What’s down? What’s around?
Will ol’ red trousers, Georgie Ferguson, make the cut yet again and find it’s another good day for his media profile? What of Charlie Bolton? Can the curiosity value of being Bristol’s only Green councillor and based conveniently in the heart of the city’s brown rice belt win the day? What about Labour weirdo Ben Barking and his crazy community gang? Did they get the access?
Then there’s the all-important cafe bars. Will The Tobacco Factory perhaps be mentioned? The Lounge perchance? Or will a new and quirky independent sweep all before them?
For now, the answers must rightly lie in the hands of the slumbering liberal gods of Canary Wharf and, alas, us mere mortals can only sit this evening and wonder…
With apologies to George Orwell