GFD: The Broca, Brockley

A huge blown up photo of the Broca staff hangs on the wall. What larks! My CV goes in… Could I be on that wall next season? Apparently not. Well, there’s a few too many kids here anyway, I think upon another failed attempt to get a job. One becomes deft at conjuring up haughty responses to interminable rejection, and Brockley, the burgeoning gentry gem of London’s south east, takes no prisoners. Indeed, ‘Kosovo-style social cleansing’, to use Boris Johnson’s dramatic prediction for the coalition’s cuts to benefits, was what ejected me from the pleasant and leafy suburb. I cleansed my way all the way to Deptford, where rents are cheaper and benefits are lowered to match, leaving everyone just as poor as they were before.

But still, to the Broca, it’s a tasty place; cheap coffee and decent folk. I like it here, good for a trip down Memory Lane, or more accurately, Wickham Road/Cranfield Road. I’m keen on the array of dissimilar furniture, all second hand, mostly quite hard, cushionless. There is a sofa or two, too, if you’re so inclined. Or should that be, reclined? Pleasant tunes drift through on clouds of caffeine, jangly guitars made for places like this.

People come and go. The Brockley Pram Society arrive with their new wares, tested with new tiny humans. A room out the back caters for the kids, who spill over into the main bit where I am. Fortunately, I have the patience of a saint. A huge noticeboard serves the community. I saw a very reasonably priced room going for rent, which I forgot to pursue. Such is the nature of the noticeboard. There’s a nicely ethical undertone here, ensuring everyone’s place in heaven. Organic things coupled with not extortionate prices. If you take a leap over the train station you come across the Broca’s sister, the Broca Food Market.

Not long ago my friend Dave and I decided that the house two doors down, identifiable by the bright yellow door, would be a more than suitable residency for twentysomethings such as us – good transport connections, local newsagents, two bars (one posh and expensive; one cheap and horrible, depending on priorities), and a couple of fine cafés within crawling distance. One of those latterly mentioned cafés is, naturally, the Broca.

by Adam


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