The gentrification of Herne Hill has reached an absurd height, if not scraped a new low. Olley’s fish and chip shop is now selling a bag of chips at TWO POUNDS NINETY. WTF.

And they’ve listed these CHIPS under ‘SIDES’. Wtf, ‘SIDES’? It’s a CHIP SHOP.

Just to add the icing onto their organic batter cake, they have gluten-free Mondays and Tuesdays. Yes they bastard do.

I would have taken a photo of Olley’s ludicrous price-list and opening times jobbies as hilarious proof, but I was too eager to leave, having ordered chips then unordered them on learning I’d have to remortgage just to eat. F*** it. These bloody people living around there now who are prepared to pay such prices.

Then I stopped off outside what was once the beloved Kennedy’s cooked meats, long since converted into something useless, and only then I realised how that whole sperm-shaped road had become a hive of hipsteries. Many of these establishments’ patronizers must dwell in Stradella and Winterbrook Roads, and must be behind the obscenely stupid arms race of wood burners and stockpiles of chopped log ammunition that tower ever higher in the front porch of every house, half of the trees of the North Downs to be burned in the name of being carbon fashionable.

I somewhat see the ire that might be fired  by places that sell bowls of cereal for £4, but not quite, probably doesn’t require a 200-strong horde of torch-brandishing baldies to come raze the place – or as in the event, stamp about a bit in the street and shake fists. (I mock. Really the Anarchists are not wholly wrong either, and they do go bother places like 1 Commercial Street for weeks without the mainstream media getting excited by it, which takes commendable passion. I just think going for a place selling Rice Krispies to idiots isn’t worth assaulting like Frankenstein’s Castle.)

I think Olley’s would better serve their aspirations by calling themselves ‘Olley’s Fish & Chips –  International’. The power of marketing! As that top ad space tele-sales chap I spent a week recoiling from, who used to front for ‘Hospitality and Hotel … International,’ as he stressed it, *pause* before the ‘inter-national’. Vile creature though he was, he was on £60k p.a. and that was in 1995 (well so he claimed, projecting the image of success in order to be successful).

But anything with international nailed onto to me is rendered tacky. Not unlike Labour’s ludicrous marketing ploy to sell us the idea of 24-hour pub hours, that it’d inspire ‘continental’ drinking, conjuring up the image on their flip-chart at least of lads and ladettes no longer downing a gallon of Stella 5 minutes to closing, but instead urbanely sipping from balloons of brandy leisurely into the wee hours.

Bollocks. ‘Continental’ is tacky, seedy even. Like no-one ever watched the ‘continental movies’ on BBC2 to indulge their frustrated love of French cinema, but in the hope of seeing a bit of tit and bum while everyone else had gone to bed.

Back in the day, when a bag of chips cost 30p.


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