A Monster Shop ... Literally
Are you a Monster, a Vampire, Werewolf or maybe just a Thing of some description? Do you find that regular dental floss just snaps on your fangs, or are you a Zombie that laments the fact that regular mints just don’t quench the hideous stench of your breath? Do you wish there was a shop that catered for you, and that the next time you enquire whether they have anything suitable for tightening your neck bolts, the shopkeeper won’t look at you with fear etched in to their eyeballs … not dissimilar from the eyeballs you like to suck on as others might boiled sweets?
Well, the good news is that if you answered YES to any of the above, I have just the shop for you. It’s called Hoxton Street Monster Supplies and as the name suggests, can be found on Hoxton High Street, near where we do our Sunday east end walk.
The shop can cater for all your monster type needs, whether you’re partial to nibbling on pieces of flayed skin or need to replenish your dwindling stock of fresh farts. For those monsters with more refined tastes you could of course take home some guts and garlic chutney or a jar of thickest human snot. You can be sure to find only the best monster supplies like fang floss, impacted earwax and zombie fresh mints, as they’ve been a ‘purveyor of quality goods for monsters of every kind’ since 1818.
It’s not always as easy being a monster as people often think, but help is at hand, as you can purchase tins of ‘mortal terror’, ‘escalating panic’ or if you’re a subtler type of monster, ‘a vague sense of unease’.
A polite notice on the door will ask you to kindly refrain from eating the staff, only one giant may be permitted at any time (it’s a small shop) and if you’re a Vampire then they will be more than happy to arrange a nocturnal visit for you (by appointment only).
I should perhaps mention that Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is under license from the Ministry of Stories, a volunteering organisation founded by Nick Hornby, Lucy Macnab and Ben Payne to encourage creative writing for youngsters in the east end through one-on-one tutoring and group workshops. It was inspired by a shop for Pirates and writing centre, opened by Dave Eggers and Ninive Calegari in San Francisco called 826 Valencia. Believe it or not, Colin Firth is the Minister of Fluency and Alain de Botton, Minister for Literary Pleasures & Sorrows said “With wit, creativity and energy, the Ministry of Stories is helping society to feel less scared, less isolated and less angry, in short, more human.”
Unfortunately, the shop is closed on Sundays, but here is a monster group outside the Monster shop, when we passed by on a Sunday jaunt around Shoreditch and Hoxton on our way to Columbia Road Flower Market.
Hoxton Street Monster Supplies can be found at 159 Hoxton Street, London, N1 6PJ and the opening times are Mon – Fri (1pm – 5pm) and Sat (11am – 5pm). Also, if you're loathed to set foot outside during daylight hours because you might scare people, then you can of course order your monster supplies Online.
Weekend roundup - 11th/12th Feb '12
Well, well, well ... what an interesting weekend, with all three London walks taking place and spanning the whole spectrum of Chalker numbers, all of whom courageously braved the near Arctic conditions. Perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration, but Saturday certainly was pretty nippy.
Trafalgar Square to St Paul's
One of the group on Saturday morning was evidently thwarted by TFL and unable to make it, so myself (obviously), Pete, Stacey, Harriet and Emily set off through London's sun-kissed but really, really, really cold streets. Here they are outside Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, rebuilt in 1667.
After managing to drag them away from the warmth of Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese's Ye Olde fire I took them to see a bit of 14th Century priory (a Bowl Of Chalk first) that once stretched from Fleet Street all the way down to the Thames and belonged to the Carmelite order known as White Friars. It now sits behind glass looking mildly out of place amongst a plethora of towering modern office buildings.
Pete very kindly wrote a rather lovely review of his experience of the walk (along with loads of photos) on his London-centric blog, the Londoneer.
St Paul's to the Monument
At 2.30pm I met Denise outside St Paul's tube station and off we went because on Saturday afternoon she was the only Chalker. Denise was great company and we basically wandered about Bankside, Borough and Southwark and chatted about stuff, had a coffee in the George Inn next to the fire, no doubt exactly where Charles Dickens sat too and generally mooched around whilst I imparted fascinating snippets of information ... obviously. I would highly recommend other tour guide people to try and entice Denise on to their walks because she is so much fun and an incredibly interesting person too. Here she is outside the re-created Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.
My neck of the woods
Sunday moved effortlessly from one extreme to the other with the arrival of the largest ever Bowl Of Chalk group, keen to explore a bit of the east end with me. What a lovely group they were too and featured (amongst others) three generations of one family and a handful of Yeah! Hackney (ers), an online community, discussion forum and news type place started by Emily Webber for people who live and work in Hackney.
Anyway, seeing as it was such a monster group I thought it only fitting that I should take a photo of them standing in front of the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop, which I will endeavour to write a small piece about in the not too distant future.
So, there you have it, all that remains are a few awards.
Some Awards (in no particular order)
Smallest ever group - Saturday afternoon (Denise)
Largest ever group - Sunday (see photo above)
Most generations from one family - Ann(e), Karen & Laura
Most Argentinian - Malu and Sol
Best moustache - No winner
Best English accent for a non English speaker - Stacey (Bulgaria) just wins, but Violaine (France) & Maarten (Belgium) are hot on her heels. Theoretically Malu & Sol could also be up for this award, but they've already got one.
Biggest Stik enthusiast - Natalie
Most likely to say 'Yeah, Hackney' - Emily
Thanks once again to everyone who came on walks this weekend.
Bowl Of Chalk
Bowl Of Chalk based shenanigans.