ed. Scott, L. & Smith, T. Lost in London Adventures in the city’s wild outdoors Portico ISBN 978-1-907554-60-5
Is it a book, a high end magazine or simply a stylish celebration of lifestyle choices by the green and anxious middle classes???
Questions, questions, questions…
What’s certain is that the editors of Lost on London the magazine “a publication for country loving city dwellers and anyone yearning for a simpler life” have created an attractive and seductive collection of short essays drawn from their back catalogue of the seasonally published magazine.
From the introduction: we started out with a map of London that didn’t include the M25, a web of A roads or suburbs. One that instead revealed its heathlands and meadows, ancient woodlands and pastures, chalk streams, creeks and marshes. […] This book is a collection of journeys along those natural contours. Journeys that might have begun on a tube train but ended at some other place entirely: under a canopy of trees, exploring a riverbed at low tide, or navigating a heath in the depths of night.
The premise of the book is simple, they take a map of London and from Richmond Park in the West to Tomato World in the East; from Epping Forest in the North to Bethlam Orchard in the South, draw together articles under four categories: ‘Natural City’, ‘Life on the water’, ‘Journeys through Trees’ and ‘Urban Farmer’s Handbook’ to create an optimistic and aspirational ‘rural-urban’ rurban(?) portrait of 21st C London.
Given the eclectic mix there are inevitable highs and lows in terms of the quality of writing, but that’s a minor niggle, it’s visual delight, and is scattered with sufficient ‘I didn’t know that’ moments to keep you entertained.
It’s a dip-in gazette, a toilet reader, and honestly none the worse for that. During a delay at the airport this Summer, or on those Winter evenings in sleepy period before lights out, this was just the sort of undemanding read I love – anyone for damson gin?