Next up in our series celebrating the fine bloggers of London, is the mysterious Blackheath Bugle, who's anonymous blogging mission is to celebrate all things Blackheath.
If you had to describe your blog in less than 15 words how would you do it? Like a local newspaper, but without the boring bits.
How and why did you start blogging?
I finally started living in a bit of London that I really liked, and realised that there were loads of excellent blogs nearby, but none specifically about Blackheath. So I decided to start one. The Greenwich Phantom was a particular inspiration.
Why did you decide to be anonymous?
Because I wanted to be like Batman. Actually, it was more because I wanted to be able to express myself freely, and was slightly scared of being sued, didn't have a clue about publishing, and thought it would be safer. Also, having criticised the BNP in the blog (their London Leader lives nearby), I was quite relieved that I was anonymous when the hate mail rolled in.
Will you ever reveal yourself?
Not planning to, but you never know. I've told a few trusted people.
What about London inspires your blog?
I remember someone told me a quote once that "London is a Middle Eastern city". It obviously isn't (the rain, for one thing), but it has a nice grain of truth to it - in terms of the variety of people, the chaos, and the sense of them just getting on with their lives.
What would be your dream Blackheath event to post about?
A strange hole opens up in the middle of the heath, at the bottom of which are the remains of Jack Cade's Cavern, also revealing some mysterious tunnels out to the Thames, a Druidic worshipping altar, and Winston Churchill's Oyster card.
What's your favourite post you've ever written?
Well, I quite like the one about whether Jack the Ripper lived in Blackheath, as the unfortunate accused caught the same train as me into Charing Cross each morning... before drowning himself in the Thames. And the mystery of Spring Heeled Jack is a wonderfully evocative image too. Most of the really good historical topics in Blackheath have already been covered in a local history book by Neil Rhind, so I tend to focus on the contemporary things.
Would you feel more or less connected to London, would you have missed out on things without your blog?
Of course, writing a blog about your local area gives you a new way to look at where you live, and I certainly wouldn't have tried to go to so many local events and businesses without it. The paper hot-air balloons on the heath for New Year's were a good example! But writing a blog is also quite time-consuming... It helps to have an understanding Mrs Bugle nearby, who only rolls her eyes when I'm cramped over "that bloody laptop" again...
Has your blog connected you to another community of bloggers in London? The world?
It made me realise how many local voices there are around here... I keep trying to persuade my parents to start one in their area, but so far to no avail. I've had some great posts from a guy in the Netherlands who used to live in Blackheath in the 1940's and 50's, and some more from Australians living in The Other Blackheath.
Tell us about another London blogger you like.
And for some general London chat...
So you obviously live in Blackheath! Why do you love it so much? It's the only bit of London I've lived in that still feels kind of like a village, but is near enough to all the good stuff. But don't tell everyone.
What's your favourite place in London?
The platform over the bridge at Blackfriars during sunrise is pretty stunning. Looking out over the Thames over Waterloo bridge in a taxi after a night shift on a clear night is surprisingly uplifting. Staring at the flamingos in the Kensington Roof Gardens? The roof of the Great Court in the British Museum? I can't pick just one.
Have you ever been sick on the tube?
I went through a phase of it in my misspent youth. Not proud. At least it wasn't on the third rail.
Anything else we should know?
There are two craters on the moon named after astronomers who lived in Blackheath.
Find out more at The Blackheath Bugle