The Blue Brick Cafe, East Dulwich
14 Fellbrigg Rd
020 8693 3742
by Herby Banger
Skiving off work is an art form and preparation is foremost. The day before the bunk you must start showing the symptoms that will tomorrow lay you low; a slight cough, maybe a complaint of a headache. If you convince, then phoning in the next morning will be a breeze of well-wishing reassurance. It will relax your every sinew. For me, everything was going according to plan as I hung up the phone. Yet my guilty tranquillity was disturbed not two minutes later by the arrival of builders to the flat above me.
It wasn't too long before I had a real headache and all I could do was leave the house, aghast that I had risked so much for so little reward. Aimlessly I walked the streets around my home, and came to an unexpected crossroads in the day: for before me was a mirage, a long lost image of a café that had occupied my unconscious mind for many years; The Blue Brick Café.
It had always seemed closed, but here now it welcomed me in with its 3-barred glow of electric heat. Inside I was transformed, not into a phoenix, but into a child of the person that I had become. The Blue Brick Café is everything I had missed from a time I had barely known. I had never been there before but the placed seeped memories and nostalgia, of rainy days and unexpected encounters. It is kitsch in a way that no other place can be, for it is unchanged and unerringly charming – comfort on an uncomfortable seat.
It is almost irrelevant that the breakfast I ate was beautiful and simple. No frills were necessary, yet to my delight there were unmistakable signs of real home made effort.
Friendly and honest, now that it is found I shall not stray from the path again.