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Long time lurker finally breaks cover, London

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WiriWiri

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I thought I had this craving under control. After collecting J knives for over ten years, I had finally achieved a sense of contentment with my oversized selection of konos, azais, takedas, hattoris, TFs (ordered direct twice, even got the free branded teatowel and complimentary flip flops*) and other blades. I also have two small children, a demented mother, an allotment and grow/make pepper sauce, distractions aplenty to push the constant desire to upgrade well into the background.

This place may be a hotbed of glistening steel temptations, illustrated with blatant, deepest-blue tinged, knife money shots, but I was now strong enough to be able to dip into this forum and lurk vicariously, secure in the knowledge that my search was done, For many, many years I was successful, leaving no overt trace and staying well in the background: as a typical South Londoner (born in Brixton, Caribbean mother, wear hooded jackets on top of hoodies), taking unusual interest in big knives tended to lead to funny looks. My old front door still bears the scars of the boys in blue‘s sudden interest in my hydroponically grown plant collection - chillies you tossers - and I didn‘t need any further unwarranted attention to be honest.

I’m not entirely sure when I lost control. Something seeped in anyhow, consciously finding myself unable to resist the eternal 210vs240 debate and the strange belief that a man really needed more than 5 gyutos. And from there it was a short step to buying the sixth (a maz, on offer in Blighty for the first time, destiny) and beginning to justify the magnificent seventh. And then the eighth, muttering and frothing to the ’workhorse’ mantra.

Balls. So here I am, cover blown and reticence broken, fair game under the ‘can‘t beat them, then join em’ programme. I blame you lot and COVID, or more seriously working from home and losing the fond embrace of the pub has left me far more time to cook and ponder the next unicorn, and also to realise that I’ve neglected sharpening and still have much to learn.

Go easy on me. I’m in, but I still want to delude myself that I’m beyond being influenced into buying more unnecessary knives and this is all about learning, honest.


*Ok, so I may have slightly imagined the flip flops here. To be fair, TF‘s smugface packaging was haunting enough to disturb my sleep for an unhealthy while
 

Matus

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Welcome to the forums
 

Kgp

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Glad you decided to participate.

My son lived in London for fives years, finally coming back to the States a year ago before the CoVid mess. I was fortunate to visit him twice and really enjoy your city. Hope I can get back some day.
Ken
 

Giovanny Torres

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Welcome, I've spent the last 18 years of my life living in London, is always nice to have more people from the UK joining.
 

WiriWiri

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Aw, cheers for the welcomes folks. Sure I’ll be just fine here and won‘t at all be led astray by all this loose, lovely talk of new blades.

Good to see the London connections here too. One of the reasons I finally broke cover was that there‘s clearly far more activity this side of the pond than when I first started this cursed/charmed quest. Back then I was distinctly stuck in the slow lane, looking on at the rapid trades and buys here with a sense of bemusement and envy. The handful of local retailers were either limited in stock and/or ludicrously overpriced, so I had the unedifying gamble of taking the customs hit on unseen blades that I could only imagine holding. Thankfully most of the smiths and sellers proved unerringly helpful (Koki at JCK, Chris at FJKK/now Knifewear, even that Voldemort chap), but it still felt a bit of a lone wolf pursuit,

Things have much improved since then thankfully, with Kataba Hamono kindly setting up virtually on my doorstep (until recently). I’m happy to embrace the hobby’s increasing respectability now and may even attempt to explain to the better half why I’m spending increasing amounts of time staring at knife pics and typing furiously at strangers.

I expect that’ll end well and that I won’t be reduced to shouting something like ’I’m not the biggest knife nutter - look at the people on here’ anytime soon, no sir,


;)
 

cotedupy

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Welcome! From someone born and raised just of Acre Lane (but left for Aus just over a year ago).

Should international travel ever become available again I'll give you a shout and we can hit up the Dogstar. Tho possibly without our knives ;)
 

WiriWiri

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Welcome! From someone born and raised just of Acre Lane (but left for Aus just over a year ago).

Should international travel ever become available again I'll give you a shout and we can hit up the Dogstar. Tho possibly without our knives ;)
Blimey that is close indeed - St Matthews estate boy here, latterly of Saltoun and Rattray. Would certainly be up for a Brixton meet if the circumstances ever arise again, albeit the Dogstar‘s now boasting Atlantic branding again and Coldharbour‘s eeerily empty at the mo. I‘m missing the Albert and the locals for sure
 

cotedupy

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Blimey that is close indeed - St Matthews estate boy here, latterly of Saltoun and Rattray. Would certainly be up for a Brixton meet if the circumstances ever arise again, albeit the Dogstar‘s now boasting Atlantic branding again and Coldharbour‘s eeerily empty at the mo. I‘m missing the Albert and the locals for sure
Ah the PA... I've had a soft spot for that place ever since (and I'm not making this up) a guy came over and gave my sister a chilli plant just before closing one time on the condition we promised to look after it. There may have been other substances involved that evening, but it definitely happened - a friend of ours took it home on the night bus and grew chillies from it :)

I didn't know the Dogstar was Antic... have just googled and yeah... the refurb looks *a lot* different from my, sometimes hazy, memories of it.
 

Corradobrit1

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Another dislocated Brit here. 7 years spent in London as a student. Another 2 in Northholt and Greenford working as a pharmacist. Good times.
 

WiriWiri

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Ah the PA... I've had a soft spot for that place ever since (and I'm not making this up) a guy came over and gave my sister a chilli plant just before closing one time on the condition we promised to look after it. There may have been other substances involved that evening, but it definitely happened - a friend of ours took it home on the night bus and grew chillies from it :)
o_Oo_Oo_O

Erm, remarkably, I can’t help thinking there’s a unhealthily high probability that you and I (or at least one of my plants) have actually crossed paths already IRL then. I can’t promise it, but this is very much my MO - I’ve been growing hundreds of chilli plants every year for nigh on 20 years down at the Rosendale allotments and it’s become.a bit of a tradition to give a few batches of the grow extras to friends and locals at the Albert and Hootahobcanning every year. The drunken end of night plant passing of anything remaining is all too hazily familiar - I’ve had randoms thank me for plants in strange places (shops, festivals, even Brazil) many years later, me having no bleeding idea who they are.

At my chilli peak, I was shifting over a couple of thousand bottles of pepper sauce and jam every year grown from the same plants, all sold via word of mouth in the aforementioned pubs. It‘s much scaled down now - parenthood tends to make the marvellous ‘business model’/excuse of visiting the local(s) most night in the guise of selling sauce more than slightly unviable - but in the PA and other locals you’ll still hear my name commonly prefixed with all things chilli related

I may have had dreams of becoming a musical tyro, riding astride the glorious, lawless chaos of Brixton in the 90s like a bassline colossus. But I’ll take the vague consolation that I’m still the ’chilliman‘ to a non-so select bunch of Brixton reprobates and drunks. It’s mildly better than being known as the knifeman of Brixton anyway...
 

kevpenbanc

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Welcome to the forum, great introduction.
Hope you're staying safe, my family are telling me the valleys are getting hit hard with this latest wave.
 

cotedupy

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o_Oo_Oo_O

Erm, remarkably, I can’t help thinking there’s a unhealthily high probability that you and I (or at least one of my plants) have actually crossed paths already IRL then. I can’t promise it, but this is very much my MO - I’ve been growing hundreds of chilli plants every year for nigh on 20 years down at the Rosendale allotments and it’s become.a bit of a tradition to give a few batches of the grow extras to friends and locals at the Albert and Hootahobcanning every year. The drunken end of night plant passing of anything remaining is all too hazily familiar - I’ve had randoms thank me for plants in strange places (shops, festivals, even Brazil) many years later, me having no bleeding idea who they are.

At my chilli peak, I was shifting over a couple of thousand bottles of pepper sauce and jam every year grown from the same plants, all sold via word of mouth in the aforementioned pubs. It‘s much scaled down now - parenthood tends to make the marvellous ‘business model’/excuse of visiting the local(s) most night in the guise of selling sauce more than slightly unviable - but in the PA and other locals you’ll still hear my name commonly prefixed with all things chilli related

I may have had dreams of becoming a musical tyro, riding astride the glorious, lawless chaos of Brixton in the 90s like a bassline colossus. But I’ll take the vague consolation that I’m still the ’chilliman‘ to a non-so select bunch of Brixton reprobates and drunks. It’s mildly better than being known as the knifeman of Brixton anyway...
Well this is certainly one of the more extraordinary coincidences in my life! I believe I was... err... attempting to 'dance' when she originally got chatting to you, but I think remember re-joining a conversation based around some of the finer details of caring for chilli plants - we had one around that time that wasn't doing very well.

My sis was somewhat flabbergasted when I showed her this thread and sends her regards. As well as saying she likes the way you write, and: "I f****ng miss pubs and getting silly in Brixham and talking to strangers." You can definitely add us, and our mate Jim, to your list of random people from around the world thanking you for a chilli plant :)

Also - I like 'Hootahobcanning' and will be using that myself. I owe you a pint or two there or the Albert next time I'm back!
 

WiriWiri

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<shakes head in bewilderment> Well, I certainly never expected my furtive entrance onto (ludicrously oversimplication ahead) a US site for a Japanese knife nutters enthusiasts to clash so spectacularly with real life, but them’s the pleasant breaks.

Nice to have (probably) met you and cheers for the wonderfully weird welcome to this forum again. I would try and describe myself (Guyanese/Welsh, add Chinese and Portuguese), but it’ll likely be no earthly help in confirming anything. I‘ll be blending into the background with the other locals and Heinz 57 reprobates, mucking the place up

But good to see the spirit of Brixton is stIll very much live and valued. We Brixtonians may have long held the reputation of being a murderous/stabby/riotous/anarchic /<insert right wing tabloid frothing here> lot. That may even be (occasionally) justified, but we’re actually quite welcoming despite all that,

You never really escape Brixton either, wherever you are in the world. Take our honeymoon 8 years ago, in a deserted stoner village in NE Brazil (Caraiva), literally 5 hours 4x4 drive and on an island away from the nearest big town. A few hundred people there, off season. And sure enough, within 10 mins the bod behind the beach bar tentatively recognised us from the Hobgoblin and started mentioning our mate Posh Peter (aka Pub Marley) and his bizarre bingo night

And now this. <shakes head again>
 
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Whit3Nitro

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Haha, wow, what an interesting thread! It’s amazing when two strangers realise they have crossed paths, especially when one gets to witness it!
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

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You've got a very unique, entertaining style of writing - I enjoy reading it and I'm happy you joined the forum. Also, I used to grow peppers as well :D
 

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