I lived in Golden Lane Estate for the best part of a year. In the photo above it was the flat with the little orange blob in the window on the second floor. That was my old desk.
It. Was. Brilliant. A small, wonderfully designed flat that Russell remarked would be complete with a copy of Len Deighton’s Action Cookbook (I already owned it). Proper modern bachelor pad.
Taught me a lot about what I want out of a home, that place. Last year marked my tenth in London… that flat was, I think, my twelfth in that time. Loads of them were so temporary, and so impossible to feel at ease in. This broke the curse.
The whole estate is lived-in and loved. It suffers from quiet weekends, when half the occupants leave (presumably to go the their country homes) but the huge number of actual, round-the-calendar tenants put a lot of time and effort into making it home.
It’s beautiful. Although, I guess, it also made me think about the politics of these spaces a lot more. So many of the flats are studios like mine, where any more than one-and-a-half residents would be a stretch. That’s a choice to build for some people to the exclusion of others, and in such a politically conservative pocket of the city that’s a weird thing to confront.
But it’s still littered with social and co-operative features that generate community, even where that’s a hard thing to do. It feels like a good space, and that’s a huge thing in London.
I’ve taken all those feelings (and loads of that furniture) down to a new place in South London. It’s already home. A big part of that is down to the stuff I learned in this place (although, our fabulous cat also helps).
Thanks GLE! Bye!