Ideas & Inspiration: Portals of London

Portals of London is an absolutely fabulous blog, along with a Twitter account @PortalsOfLondon, that catalogues London’s inter-dimensional gateways. It is, however, important to note that it is not a user’s guide. They are very definite on this score.

St Michael, demolished, from Portals of London blog
St Michael, Crooked Lane. Demolished 1831 | public domain

The blog itself is a record of…oddities. Strange buildings. Places that aren’t quite right. The Mithraeum, maybe, that houses something more than just an archaeologically interesting temple. The path on a common that isn’t often there, but maybe you’ll spend your life looking for it. Temporal anomalies, mysteries on river-beds, and frightening machines…

The blog is definitely in the same genre as Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and China Mieville’s “Reports of Certain Events in London” from the Looking For Jake collection (which, by the way, is excellent. And as a side note, I adore being able to reach out and just take the book I want off my shelves. It’s luxury!) There’s touches of Paul Cornell’s London Falling, too, mixed in with Underground London by Stephen Smith and snippets from histories and folklore…

And honestly, I’d say it’s as good as any – or all! – of the books listed above. I adored – and still adore – London; I found myself including Kaerlud in No Man’s Sky, in amongst the Fae-touched world, as a jumble of buildings and history and shops and people. In Portals of London, I love the mix of reality and fantasy, the scientific and questioning nature and the plethora of images and fragments that come together into something unsettling. London is strange, and I love that these fragments pull out that strangeness and make it sharper, turn it into a mystery and a figment and something that I just have the urge to check, just to see, just in case it might be real…

My favourite post so far:

Wren’s Restless Sanctuary: The Church of All-Corners-Within-the-Wall