Last thing, I watch the night mail go out. The back windows of my house gaze down into the yard of Islington’s main post office—a great block of Edwardian red brick, its façade an uncompromising array of windows, its only architectural flight of fancy the peculiar stunted campanile at each end of the building. A wrought-iron plaque on my garden wall, boundary with the post office yard, reminds me that the wall is the property of the Postmaster General, 1909. At night, the yard and the row of back gardens glow in the light of the post office’s orange sodium lamps—best in rain when the glow turns to gilt, sharply gilded foliage and glittering lakes on the tarmac of the yard.
Top Reads 2020
Qualities of Earth
‘The slutty ingenuity of vegetables when it comes to desire and reproductive methods is a marvel.’
Rebecca May Johnson negotiates allotment culture.
The Second Career of Michael Riegels
‘Globalisation is incomplete: money can go anywhere, but laws cannot.’
Oliver Bullough on one of Britain’s most contested outposts: the British Virgin Islands.
Learning to Sing
‘You discover during your very first lessons that the problem of singing better involves overcoming many other problems you had not ever imagined.’
A new story from Lydia Davis.
‘She began to count; it was easier this way, counting, because she would not have to remember how she felt.’
An excerpt from Ukamaka Olisakwe’s Ogadinma.
‘Like any desert, I learn myself by what’s desired of me—
and I am demoned by those desires.’
From Postcolonial Love Poem by Natalie Diaz.