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LAURA CRAIK IS UPFRONT

Laura Craik on problem park parties,
the enigma that is good rosé and her
impossible quest for new garden furniture

W hile I’d be upgrading myself to say I’m a resident, I use Primrose Hill most days, and take pride in it in a way that makes me pick up my dog poop and litter fastidiously. Having spent the odd late night there myself, I was against the park being gated off at 10pm, falling on the ‘poor locked-up kids have nowhere else to go — give them a break’ side of the argument.

Primrose Hill was the only Royal Park to remain open all night, a bohemian, liberal move that chimed well with the values of local residents. Until said residents were kept awake all night by loud music and found themselves picking their way through broken glass and human excrement the next morning.

Would that all Londoners treated our green spaces with the same ‘leave no trace’ deference that works so well at Glastonbury — an actual festival as opposed to the ersatz ones in Victoria, Hyde and Finsbury Parks and Primrose Hill. Anyone hoping for the nutters to disperse when the pubs reopened has been disappointed; a carry-out is cheaper than a round and you can smoke all the weed you like without censure. What’s not to love?

What’s not to love is this. Your 15-year-old daughter being offered ketamine by a dealer. Your 13-year-old daughter and her friends being harassed because they’re in bikinis, as if that’s a reason. Your 14-year-old son being mugged for his iPhone. Your 17-year-old son and his friends being told they’ll get shanked. ‘Teenagers aren’t the problem,’ says my daughter. ‘It’s the adults.’

“Anyone hoping for the nutters to disperse when pubs reopened has been let down; a carry-out is cheaper than a round”

There are a lot of angry adults around. You can see it in the broken glass, a glinting carpet of ire stretching all the way from Primrose Hill to Chalk Farm Tube. Last weekend, a food delivery driver was attacked for no reason by thugs who shouted ‘he’s a paedo’ to deter passers-by from intervening. Look at the wrong person in the wrong way and the knives come out.

I don’t know what the answer is. Be less angry? Easy for the rich, happy and employed to say. Rich or poor, after all we have been through, London deserves a summer of love, not one of violence and hate.

Park and parcel: with green space comes anger and violence, it seems

No way, rosé

It being the time of year that a basic bitch ­— for that is what I am — ditches the red wine for the rosé, not for the first time I’m wondering whether rosé is some giant con executed by winemakers that prays on innocent women and gays who will spend an entire summer convincing themselves that it’s delicious, on the basis that it’s pink.

Has anyone ever encountered a truly delicious rosé? Or have they merely encountered a photogenic liquid that tastes of dashed hopes and vinegar, but is pink, ergo they are willing to forgive it the dull, acidic taste that, if it were a Sauvignon Blanc, would be sent back? I’ll wait.

Sofa not so good

Having failed to buy a patio heater that would allow me to socialise in my garden post 29 March, I was determined to succeed in the equally lame cliché of buying new garden furniture. A sofa would be nice, I thought, and started googling.

OMG. £1,700 for an ugly slab of rattan finished off with municipal cream cushion covers that would get covered in ketchup at the first bbq, but can’t be removed? £1,700 doesn’t even buy you a zip? What a world. My outrage is pointless: London is clean out of garden furniture and all you can do is drag your existing sofa out to the patio and hope for the best. Imagine being one of those people who thinks to buy things in advance. How different life would be.

HOT:
Liam Gallagher

For keeping his local pub in business over lockdown thanks to his penchant for frozen Margaritas. Of which he orders eight litres at a time, obvs.

NOT:
Corporate Pride-ism

Changing your logo to a rainbow for a month doesn’t make you an ally.