Émigré London, photographed by Iain Bailey – and also, a happy Christmas from Picnic . . .

Emigre London - Gold DressGreetings again everyone – you may recall my EMIGRE LONDON posts at the end of October before I gave way to Rick Schmidt book BLACK PRESIDENT in view of the recent news.

In any case, all at Picnic asked me to hold on to my last EMIGRE LONDON post to play us out over the holidays and into the new year. Through street fashion, the book describes life in a London suburb from the 1960s to the turn of the century and the mix of traditional English cultures with people of worldwide multicultural origins or backgrounds/race/creed and so on, through migrations, growing up abroad or living as an expat.

I am no stranger to this diversity as I was lucky to grow up in Africa. I used to walk around with a black snake in my shirt’s front pocket. This gave me protection against bigger boys, until my brother’s girlfriend took a dislike to my pet. She stopped visiting the house because of the snake. One day the snake disappeared and my brother finally got married!

We had plenty of open space so from an early age I had 3 dogs to knock around with. We grew up together and had loads of adventure and mischief. Jock was a black Labrador, Spike was a feisty black and white fox terrier with pointed ears, Bomber was a giant brown Bull-Mastive-cross-Boar-Bull and also the youngest. The 4 of us were inseparable. The dogs enjoyed a huge garden, covered with ripe avocadoes. They would feast on them and this would give them the shiniest coat. They also had the freedom to escape for a wander (all 3 dogs still had their male’s attributes!).

3 dogs in Africa

At meal times, an odd pantomime would repeat itself time and time again: Bomber would finish his basin of a meal in a few mouthfuls. Jock would finish his meal second, As for Spike, he would carefully pick the best bits and then guard the rest of his food fiercely. Despite his tiny size he was able to block giant Bomber from accessing the food.

From this point on, Bomber’s only aim would be to engineer a diversion to lap up Spike’s remaining meal. Here we go: Bomber would start running towards the garden fence, barking excitedly, pretending there was some major action outside, Jock and Spike would follow running up & barking, not wanting to miss on the action. Then once every one was well involved, Bomber would swiftly run back to the dishes to swallow Spike’s meal. Spike would come back at full speed but always a little too late… This was hilarious to watch. I miss them dearly since I left Africa. But I was lucky to leave them in good care as the family that took them on had a sofa for each dog!! Most probably a sizable upgrade in a dog’s life!

I am still puzzled why Picnic wanted to end its inaugural author blogging year with me and my pets but I guess it may have something to do with happy memories of sometimes difficult times. The book EMIGRE LONDON is pretty much about happy memories from sometimes difficult days too. I guess the message is that eventually difficulties, including the ones so many are in today, lift. A very merry Christmas to you all from wherever in the world you may be reading this and a may the new year bring peace.

best wishes


One thought on “Émigré London, photographed by Iain Bailey – and also, a happy Christmas from Picnic . . .

  1. What beautiful dogs! They are all gorgeous but I especially love Bomber. In the top picture he reminds me of Emily Bronte’s drawing of her mastiff, Keeper.

    How cool to have a pet snake, too!

    Happy Christmas everyone. :)

Comments are closed.