‘To Camden Town we did Ride (Before the fire in February 2008)’

“Knickers Abroad; a multiple journey”


Rose D. Kaye

For a complete list of chapters in numerical order please go to this page.


Chapter Seventeen

‘To Camden Town we did Ride (Before the fire in February 2008)’

The three divas, Diane, Drizel and I, the one and only Rosie, decided, after bidding a warm farewell to Jo and Marie, to ride the Northern line to Camden Town. It was a fairly long walk from the Tate Modern to the Bank station and then onto the very crowded trains. The entire Circle line, parts of the District line and Northern line were closed this weekend for maintenance so the available cross lines were getting a heavy workout. Plus, Camden Town is a huge weekend attraction all by itself. Did we have a fun time? A fantastic time! There was a teeming swarm of shoppers both looking for bargains and to be seen in their finest clothes. Due to the chilly weather most of the crowd was bundled up and there were very few outlandishly dressed people although the entire area is a curious mixture of funk and hip. Those who paraded in bright colors or bizarre clothing were, for the most part, barkers. The sidewalks being so narrow and the mob being so large, most were practically forced into the street. If I may make a recommendation here, it would suit the area better to convert Camden High Street to a pedestrian mall with stalls down the center of the pavement. The vehicular traffic is both a hazard and distraction. Even more crowded still were the various flea markets that have sprung up in the open cobbled courtyards amidst the permanent stores. We had only a few hours to explore and we decided to strike off in random directions and shop the areas that meandered through a labyrinth of old buildings and halls.

Since we had hundreds of pounds left unspent from our budget and we had bought nothing of substance in Paris, I wanted something permanent to remember London. I found what I was looking for. A very cool and funky shoulder bag that was all me, black with pink leopard spotted handles and highlighted with a white skeletons of a cat and a fish. After a snack of fresh jelly doughnut it was time to plunge headlong into the cramped passageways. By some large stroke of fortune, we came across a tiny shop that had the best bargains we had seen the entire trip. Racks and racks of second hand leather jackets for only ten pounds each! Amongst the large collection of dark brown and black jackets, I was instantly drawn to a gorgeous sea foam green coat. It had dark green satin lining with gold buttons and lots of pockets. I tried it on and it fit perfectly. No stains, no rips; a well broken-in garment. It was perfect for me. Diane and I browsed through the rest of the stock looking for something for her. We found two, the first was a stunning demi-jacket in bright purple suede and the second was a brilliant medium blue leather coat with a vent in the back. An amazing shop with great merchandise and to purchase three leather jackets in great shape for only thirty pounds was fantastic.

“You had recommended to Rose that the afternoon be spent shopping at Camden Town. Was this a part of London you enjoyed Drizel?”

“Oh yes Dewy, the shopping in Camden, that place is another love of mine and I was so happy to share it with Rose and Diane. I kinda imagined you would love the place too. It was fun seeing how Diane and Rose interacted, I still say Diane is amazing, just for the fact that you guys are best friends, one can see it.”

“What drew you to Camden Town Drizel? I know you didn’t care for London all that much, so why this place?”

“Why I like Camden so much Dewy is because there are millions of different people there, punks, Goths, tourists and the silly chicky like me and everyone just takes the streets over and blends the cultures, to make one very funky spunky cake; okay not space cakes, but I am sure if one searched hard enough you’ll find some.”

“Space cakes Drizel? I thought we had doughnuts?”

“Silly Rosie I know that. The treats we had were oh so yummy. What I meant was it was good just to walk and talk. I am happy we decided to go to Camden because it is like my favorite place on earth, and I got to show you. And thanks for the dress you got me… whoohooo… rock on.”


The three of us wandered for several wonderful hours taking in all the sights. There were food places scattered everywhere, not that we snacked, and it seemed that anything you could want was available somewhere. I was surprised to see several canals offering barges tours and in one market there was a wall with dark bronze horse head sculptures mounted in place, commemorating the horse market which once stood there. Despite the changes and commerce, there seemed to be an attempt made to preserve some of the history of the area. Progress of course moves on and not everything old should be saved, but Camden Town has made a good effort to bridge the ancient with the modern. Alas, all good things must end and we made our final stop in an enormous multi-level Goth store. Drizel picked out a sweet black satin miniskirt with ribbons and a white ruffle. I offered it to her as a gift to remember me by.

“How did you feel about parting from them Drizel? You’d only had a few hours together, was it as good as you’d hoped it would be?”

“I was sad to go and had so much fun. There was so much I wanted to say to Rose but did not know the words. It is like one meets amazing people in life and they pass through and in time one will forget them. I actually wanted to cry when I said bye to you guys, because there are other people one meets in one’s life that leave a mark, a print on one’s soul. Makes one a better person, because I understand and feel more love for human life and souls. This is what you left on me my dear friend Rosie, I will never think the same about people again; I have gotten a new dimension to me and it is all thanks to the amazing soul that you are.”

“Ekstase lê hier”

tydelik het ek die skoonheid gesien.
deur oë van ‘n lustige jong man,
ek het nie omgegee nie, ek het gesien.
die stad was groot en my hart,
was meer gebreek as heel.
ek kon nie kies of ek moes bly,
of miskein het die heelal vir my gekies.
gebroke siel in die ysterstad,
koue vloere, mure vol urine,
hoe soek mens jou siel hier?
ek het myself verloor om agter ‘n deur;
iemand anders te vind.
gee op, nie ek nie.
kry seer, meer as een keer.
liefde vir jouself;
liefde in ‘n gebroke stad.
waar jy jouself ‘n slaaf noem.
waar jy soos ‘n soldaat bloed volg, geld volg.
seer en rou is ek tot ek weer kan asem haal,
in die blou lug van die moederland.
My ekstase lê in Afrika

“Ecstasy lies here”

shortly I saw the beauty.
through the eyes of a lustful young man,
I did not care, I saw.
the city was big, and my heart,
was broken more than healed.
I could not choose if I stayed,
or maybe the universe chose for me.
broken soul in a steel city,
cold floors, walls full of urine,
how do you search your soul here?
I lost myself behind doors,
to find someone else.
give up, I could not.
get hurt more than once.
love for yourself.
love in a broken city.
here you call yourself a slave,
you follow money like a soldier follows blood.
sore and raw, until I can breathe again,
in blue skies of the motherland.
My ecstasy lies in Africa.

© Drizel Burger

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