Angel Supermanathon

 If your personality is such that you can only talk ill of yourself and refrain from speaking positively through fear of appearing arrogant, isn’t that your ego? How is it that when we see extreme symmetry and perfection in other people, outside of ourselves, we give praise without the guilt? 

Very few can but one must step outside of self to see a situation as it truly is and if it is such then say it is such, whether or not they are the interested party. They often wonder why I sing my own praises.



On Christmas day after adulterating my pescetarian body with Lamb, I decided that after a six-month break the lower back pain I suffered would not notice me going out for a short run. As I wove through the streets of Notting Hill, Kensington and the on over Wandsworth Bridge I thought ‘More…’ 12 miles later, knees closer to the concrete, I felt pretty accomplished. It felt easy, especially with no training.

After a few days of pain I etched my name down for a half Marathon and started training for the body I almost had. I felt that being a Superhero must start with the idea of a superhero in the mind. Spiderman. Never was there a more perfect physique. Screw The Hulk, Superman, and all the others. The sheer fat-less frame adorned with muscle made him the ultimate powerhouse. Plus he wouldn’t seem stiff dancing at a club or odd in a suit. Yep, that’s me. The turkey waist had to go and then the rest would just fall from the body as if they were tied together, I thought. Sit-ups were really all I knew for belly jelly so I went in. 31, 32, 40…..yeah baybeee get money.

It wasn’t too long before I felt my arch enemy creeping back in. ‘Creeping Back, I thought you were dead’.  ‘Oh no, I was just waiting here by your waist for you to stretch just a little too far.’ For the next few days I took it easy on the back and started a safe abs routine so not to offer him that chance he was waiting for.

One morning as I stretched to put on my shoe, something squeezed my poor nerve and threw me flat on my stomach. It was creeping up on me again. The pain was crippling. I couldn’t move and felt thankful that I had a phone in my pocket. I called my Sister who rushed over, saw my condition and immediately called for an ambulance. After talking to one positive paramedic I was assured that I would most probably walk again. Men are such fearful creatures, hypochondriacs. This was my second visit to the hospital in two days. The first visit was for a swollen foot and that time it was the doctor that relieved my suspicions of a broken toe.

Skipping was a full workout far from back’s neighbourhood and it seemed the way to go although I could feel pain in my calf on each skip. After an hour all of a sudden my calf felt as though it had been spiked by a bulls horn. I thought ‘Okay now your fur king with me…’ Fur King Witmi was an old enemy of every about to be Super hero and even from ancient times was known to pop up at the most untimely moments. His powers allow him to change form but he only disappears if your mind is stronger than he. As a Taurean I was born the king of the Will so the stabbing pain I just wrote off as fatigue. I’m doing this Marathon. I trained again the next day and Got daymn! The whole leg swelled up. Fur king was back. He knew that it was one week before the half Marathon and if he could keep me down, stop me from training for just one more week he’d possibly break my will for good.

I suddenly realized Creeping Back and Fur king Witme were working together. Dun, dun, dunnnn. Yes, ever since I signed up for the run, for three whole months they have been after me. How did they know? Had they hacked my computer or was Creeping Back really Fur King Witme all of the time?

Okay what do we have? The Paramedic said run, the Doctor said do not aggravate the foot further, my physio said “You’ll be fine just do a short run then increase in the weeks leading up.” I hadn’t run at all, all I did was try to keep Creeping Back at bay only to be caught by Fur King. Well at least Creeping Back seems to be gone.

While resting the swollen leg, at 11:00pm I decided to call NHS direct just to rule out any possible vein coronary connection. I failed their twenty odd questions and was inconveniently advised to go to A and E. After waiting almost 3 hours with almost solely vailed women, I was finally seen. Doctor: ‘I have no idea why they sent you here as this is almost 100% not deep vein thrombosis as you’re a walking, moving athlete and haven’t been immobilised, it’s a torn ligament”.

Well that’s a four-hours-out-of-my-life kinda relief.

Walking home at 3am in the morning I suddenly became aware that without NASA, there are still those in your neighbourhood that have established their own lunar mission to search for off the shelf medication.  Astronauts, I call them. Just one small step for man and we’ll leave it at that…

I hadn’t trained for days my leg stopped swelling on the Friday and the race was on Sunday. Creeping Back was nowhere in sight but I felt that Fur King Witme was still close by and likely to spring an attack as there was still some pain and a bruise on my calf. On Saturday night I decided I’d watch the movie limitless for inspiration then get nine hours rest for Tomorrows big run but I had emails. I would address them for an hour, watch the movie and then sleep.

Fur King saw a chance to attack me by changing form and seized it. He turned into frustrating, confusing and aggravating thoughts in my brain, conversations, issues and images from the day ran around in my head causing me to panic about not getting enough sleep and how selfish and self-centred people could be and how people can appear real and be so not, my own self confidence and every negative aspect of my life, sacrifices, old meaningless relationships became more than they deserved and anything that would keep this active mind from switching off.

At 5:30, defeated, I decided all I could do was a few stretches as the only aid for my failing hope of tomorrow’s victory. Fur King left knowing she had used the most unexpected subtle form of attack to stop my progress, my confidence, my direction and ultimately break my will. 6:00am, I’m finally nodding off knowing that the alarm will sound at exactly 6:30.


I dragged my tired butt to the race at Allianz Park Stadium and remarkably, fresh out of the blues, I receive a text from my dear friend Martin ‘Hey! I watched Limitless last night, brilliant’. What freaking excellent timing and inspiration, this is the timing of God, ya hear? These are the ones who, at that moment, are on the highest, highest  vibration, the messengers for those golden moments of divine love from the universe, as I told him about the movie weeks ago and he knew nothing about the race and NEVER, EVER, EVER, contacts me on a Sunday morning before 11:00, never. Even in its holiness I see it as a moment, the moment.

There were 6,000 people around me, I needed to 16th letter of the alphabet desperately. It was 9:20, the race started at 9:30, the wee line was 10 people to a porta loo. Is that the car park? Alrighty then. I ambitiously got back in the timing pen . After giving my phone and jacket to Tony, a Superfriend and ally, we were off. I pointed at Mo Farah with confidence. He looked back puzzled like ‘Is he from my endz?’ Of course I wasn’t, why I’m from ‘Best’ London but his strong acknowledgment was the energy I needed to forget I was running on e.

Vitatlity North London Half Marathon_4905

There were at least seven unexpected inclines on the course and the return path coming out of Wembley stadium felt like climbing a mountain but I continued. With no sign of Creeping Back, Fur King tried to enter my mind again with thoughts like ‘Ha it’s all uphill son ‘ and  ‘who didn’t sleep last night, remember when you collapsed at school games for less than that, woke up in hospital didn’t you’? My gait was soft and dreamy, as much as I had nothing left in me, I did not collapse and yes I finished. No, it wasn’t my best time but it was a win for me. Tony greeted me with my coat, some water and food as I crossed the line. Myself and Magdelana, an extremely fit athlete that I met at the 11th mile, congratulated each other and bid each other farewell until the next run in a few months.

The medal was worn on the train, in my bed and around the streets that week. Did you say why? Well after defeating Creeping Back and Fur King Witme, beating those two injuries and competing with just 30 minutes sleep…Yes, I may be wrong but I think that Angel Lewis is every bit  Supermanathon.

When love finds me again

When love finds me again

how will it feel ?

like a stream or brook

or a raging torrent

overwhelming my soul

drowning me with passion,

will it ever flow into this dormant deep lake?

So still,so dark so calm

I await your Godot like return

yet will love ever find me again?

Or pass me by like a stranger in the dark………………………..


Mark C Bolton 2013
By O-G

Portobello’s Magic Mushrooms

“There’s something weird about mushrooms, there’s something weird about Portobello…I fit in”


Just a stone’s throw from Portobello’s Tesco is a stall at the other end of the food spectrum: honest, healthy, community-minded and with a genuine passion for nourishment, flavour and creative cooking, Tom James Dean’s mushroom stall.

Tom, sometimes known as Mushroom Man, welcomes the hordes of Portobello tourists with their cameras (for fb, tw and inst) each week in what is definitely a labour of love. He probably gets a fair number of people like me stopping by too, who know that mushrooms are good for you, and, well, that’s about the extent of our understanding…

Tesco (and the rest, but we’ll pick on them) sell low quality mushrooms, covered in plastic. This maintains the consistent appearance and size of the mushrooms, but not their health benefits or taste. Mushrooms should shrink; Tesco mushrooms might look good (as mushrooms go), “but in reality they’re rotting away” says Tom.

Tom uses breathable plastic and brown paper bags, so the mushrooms don’t go mouldy and don’t dry out. He’s also cheaper than Tesco, offers “more flavour” and “more benefit”. His mushrooms are also of a far wider and wilder variety…

So, what are the benefits of buying from an expert seller like Tom?


“First of all I buy from South Korea, which is known to treat their mushroom workers much better. They also grow their mushrooms in sterile conditions, in labs”.

While Tom says he occasionally comes across “mushroom hobbyists” selling at Farmers’ Markets, none of the organic farms in the UK grow their own mushrooms, and instead they get them from buyers, the same buyers as Waitrose and the other chains. This is contributing to the emergence of monopolies of sellers and supermarkets and causing smaller farmers to go bust. Tom James Dean works with experts from “all over the world,” in whom he has gained trust, including Indigo Herbs in Glastonbury, knowing that his partners have a genuine interest in what they eat, and are conscious of environmental issues.


Most obviously of all, “mushrooms are an ideal substitute for meat, so we can create a sustainable planet…a lot of sensible vegetarians simply change from meat to mushrooms.” Meat is murder and recent revelations have shown that not even religious slaughter is exempt from the horrors of the industry, no matter how piously packaged.

Oyster mushrooms, with their bland taste may not be a favourite of the veggie community, but check this out: “they clear up landfills and oil spills…a tough mushroom”.

Mushrooms absorb heavy metals, so Tom advises not to pick them in or around London. And, expert advice should always be sought when picking your own shrooms. Even in remoter areas of Wales and Scotland, picking wild mushrooms can be a health hazard, as the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident hit those countries more than it did Romania, and mushrooms absorb radiation.

For all us amateurs out there, it’s best to look at mushrooms the same way we look at berries. “You have blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries that we are familiar with, then there are other berries that look good but would kill you in the most horrible, painful way. Mushrooms are the same.”


Says Tom: “the Asians are the best with Mushroom study, they believe they can create longevity. They have had evidence that proves that certain mushrooms can stop your DNA from unwinding, particularly mushrooms such as Cordyceps, Reishi and Shiitaki. With Cordyceps they have had breakthroughs in cancer research and have successfully reduced cancerous cells. Psilocybin can ease depression and relieve headaches for six months. Chaga mushrooms are used in Russia for stomach disorders”.


“Another Russian favourite is Chanterelle, it’s a wild mushroom that we also call Foxes mushroom, they eat it raw although I would never eat mushrooms raw. I just cook them with a bit of butter. That one is probably my favourite, and it’s also known for its anti-cancer properties.”

Here’s a brief outline of a few benefits of a few of Tom’s favourite mushrooms:


  • Balances cholesterol
  • Sun drying with the gills up allows the mushroom to absorb six times the level of Vitamin D, which boosts the immune system, mood and much more
  • “If somebody had suffered extreme exposure to radiation I would have them lay in a field of shiitake mushrooms to see if it draws it out. Hey you never know”


  • A fungus that grows on the bark of trees, in Russia this mushroom is prescribed for digestive disorders
  • Very expensive and tightly guarded, with one Russian tree having two armed guards of its own
  • Combats cancer


  • Good for anxiety
  • Alleviates insomnia



    • Cancer, immune system and fertility benefits
An alleged fertility-boosting mushroom


  • “If I found out I had cancer I would eat loads of Reishi and loads of Cordyceps. I’ve seen some significant improvement in my immune system from eating them every morning. I boil them in water in the morning. They say it boosts fertility. The first time I took Cordyceps my girlfriend was pregnant within a week.”


 Psychoactive Mushrooms

  • Aka Magic Mushrooms
  • Legal trade in the UK shut down in 2005, but in 2015 the benefits of psychoactives are being studied again
  • Can open up the floodgates of memories, both good and bad, so can help people to move on
  • Being used in trials for easing post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Can treat severe headaches, including cluster headaches


While the trade has been passed down from his father, Tom says his dad was a business man, first and foremost, having started importing mushrooms in 1967. Tom, though, is partly led by sound business practice, and partly by spiritual and ethical concerns, which he inherited from his mother, somebody who fed him on home grown food, “straight from the ground.” How refreshing to see this mix at work, right outside Tesco. Did we mention them already?


And as he tells UDL about his parents, we can see that he’s an exact cross between both. Like his father, he has no time for quackery, he wants proof. But when he has the proof, he’s not shy about talking about it. Good news and good health are to be shared.

In the middle of the Little Babylon that is Portobello Road, Tom’s stall is well worth a visit. It has a mysterious feel; Eastern, Western and from the places where we daren’t explore, these strange looking foods, grisly and grimy, contain a wealth of life-enhancing benefits.


They’re weird. He says he’s weird. I don’t believe him, he’s really an enthusiast and a fountain of information. Courted by corporations, thinking about writing his first book, and keeping Portobello fresh, Tom James Dean, on the corner of Portobello and Westbourne Park Roads, is ready to share his passion with you, to educate you and to bring some well-being in to your life.

In our times and in our North Kensington, this mushroom expert is an urban sage for our age.


By Tom Charles

Could have, should have, didn’t.

Sometimes it’s the things we don’t say that can cause the most damage.

I rarely write on this type of issue but I feel compelled.

It was only a week ago when I thought to myself ‘I wonder what this woman’s story is’? She seemed a little perturbed at times but would often afford me a smile and a wave if a little far, that’s if I didn’t get there first. This had become a ritual that we both kept up every morning around the never ending race called ‘The school run’. She and I never failed to say ‘Good Morning’ to each other. Sometimes I wouldn’t know whether to wait when I saw her stride suspended by her toddler walking at snail pace while putting my key in my front door. She seemed pretty patient waiting with the baby in the cumbersome buggy while she stalled outside my doorstep for the little angel to catch up.

A slightly chubby woman with soft black silky hair always pulled back in a ponytail. There was a seriousness to her that caused me to wonder what had painted that expression into her soft, smooth, brown, face.  I did remember seeing her a few times with a tall slim Jamaican guy who, as friendly as I am, I did try to avoid. My reasoning told me, children’s Daddy but they were pretty banausic and self preserving.

For me survival is a learned behaviour, after living in Brooklyn for the formative part of your adult life you get to know how to ignore people who move a little faster than natural. This slim sporty looking character was that. He knew almost everybody in the neighbourhood within just a few months. I would spot him talking with… let’s just say locals with way too much time on their hands. I waived many opportunities to become an acquaintance through those unwanted six degrees but some underlaying instinct kept me in the same street but on a different, different road. He was always coming when I was going and I was partly the orchestrator of this.

After a few times seeing them together I figured that they were certainly an item.  At this point I believe it would have been safe for me to have said maybe more than ‘good morning,’ speaking from those thoughts a few months back because I feel it may not have warranted any negativity. She could have possibly answered ‘I’m okay just cant be around that man anymore’. To that I would have replied, ‘If it’s that bad stay somewhere else, a sister, your mother anywhere is better than arguing’. Or she could have said ‘Just so tired after watching the new season of CSI’. In which case my words could have been ‘You should try to watch some more inspirational stuff like some Deepak Chopra or something, that stuff stays in your head and when you get in an unfamiliar situation, you never know what’ll pop out”.  I could have said a number of things to which she may or may not have listened but we will never know because none of this ever happened. Why? Lots of reasons: I was in  a rush, It was cold outside, I was a bit scared, she was not that familiar.


On Friday evening…well no, on Saturday morning I was given a sheet of paper by a young man after he knocked on my door.  The familiarity with his dark outfit let me know it was of a typical probing nature. He was looking for information on whether anybody had been approached about any of the goings ons within the flat at the end of my road. Immediately I thought of them.

By Friday afternoon our good mornings would be exchanged no more for the mother of two, allegedly murdered her husband and the toddler that evening and left a cold mystery for the neighbours to try and unfold, backtracking trying to figure out why. Alcohol, drugs, self defence? No, nothing makes sense. Obviously she had snapped. This cold act created a historical tragedy equal to any other Hollywood drama, that will be told to the neighbours children’s children. One day it will be told to the surviving child by her foster parents. This event will be the reason why the place will be gutted and refurbished and even years later when its departed from everybody’s consciousness, there will be someone questioning whether they truly heard the remnants of the slain souls that left so unexpectedly.Daily Thompson house

I have seen tragedy and death before but for some reason I felt attached to this situation and, for the past few days have used a practice called Zero Limits for removing negative energy and bringing clean and clear energy. Still I ask, rather than a moments silence for the all around loss of a family, this woman who’s life is well and truly over, to look deep within your neighbour’s eyes when you greet them and let it not be all formality and routine. Dare to see through them, see if they are really okay, really. Say something uplifting to them because if one word a wordy person like myself could have said at that opportune moment could have changed this, it would have been worth switching the ego off for.

Please look after your minds and definitely talk with each other.