Severe delays, signal failure and weekend maintenance…
probably not what London Underground would like you to recall over it’s 150 years of service. (Sozz.) Lucky for them publishing professional Penguin Books are here to the rescue.
12 lines, 12 writers – the recently-released, handbag-sized series of stories and accounts, Penguin Lines, invites you to ‘Choose your journey’. And so I did.
Picked not only for it’s cover, but because the Metropolitan line’s – my own line’s – contribution didn’t look as exciting, I began at Heads and Straights: the Circle line’s edition by Lucy Wadham.
Wadham, listed under ‘Tales of Growing Up and Moving On’, recalls her adolescence in the 1970s. A time at which the battle of the punks vs. the middle-class mothers, her own included, was not uncommon along Chelsea’s King’s Road. A cultural clash of arts, sex and snobbery, she guides us through the many people, places and experiences that shaped her’s and her sisters’ teenage years. No sipping lattes, planning annual ski holidays and brunching like the cast of Made in Chelsea here.
Her story is revealing, painful and honest, inspired by her shame of growing up in such an affluent area. And it reminds us that whether we like it or not, the place we call home will undoubtedly affect who we become. Even if it is the defiantly opposite.
Unique and personal, Penguin Lines is also beautifully bound in matte chalky pages. With 11 lines to go I’m looking forward to hopping on a new one soon.