When my nine year old step brother found out I was moving to Brixton, he was more than a little concerned.
"Isn't that where the riots were?" He sounded frightened.
"No. There have never been riots in Brixton. Ever."
It is wrong to lie to children.
When I moved here a week ago I didn't know much about Brixton beyond its bad reputation. All I knew was that after months of searching I had found a nice house on a nice street that wasn't on a motorway or over a railway line and with friendly house mates who didn't have rules pinned to their fridge ("No visitors for more than one night in a row. No noise after 9pm"). Frankly I was so relieved to have found a roof for my head that the location wasn't that important.
I have already fallen in love with Brixton. The bustling market is full of life, as well as lots of great restaurants, cafés and a vegan cupcake shop. Brixton's pubs are what I think of as proper pubs (and I come from pub country down South), and I plan to make it my business to visit as many as possible. A few nights ago I went to a reggae night called the 'Reggae Train' that was by far the best train I have ever been on. This morning I went to a Caribbean aerobics class. I have never smiled so much whilst exercising.
One of my favourite things so far in Brixton is Brockwell Park, which is a five minute walk from my house and also home to Brockwell Lido which I tried out last week. (I am not quite sure that I am hard core enough to be a regular swimmer there. It is open air and unheated and everyone else seemed to be wearing body suits, swimming caps and goggles. I felt somewhat out of place doing a lazy breast stroke in my pink ruffle bikini.) In the middle of the park there is Brockwell Hall, which has a cute café and ice cream shop and is the perfect place for sitting and admiring Brixton's best view (which I did).
Yesterday I spent the entire day sat in the sunshine at Brockwell Park, scribbling away in my notebook and snoozing on the grass. I am definitely enjoying my new home and the last few days of freedom before the start of my next term at university. But I was far from the only one enjoying the sunshine.