Cheer up, sleepy dreamy, Blue Monday may have an East End surprise coming your way

© HoxtonMP
“It's nice,” says Markovitch. “It adds a bit of colour, don’t you think?”

* Update: All copies of the Hoxton Mini Press book were taken within two hours. See pic at bottom of this story


PSST, WANT A FREE BOOK? Nah, mate, it’s kosher, straight up, a real kushti read for nuffink, knowwhaddImean?

Hackney publisher Hoxton Mini Press (HMP) is to give away to bleary-eyed commuters 1,500 copies of a reprint that arrived from the printer with a blemish on the back cover.

The London Fields press’s co-founder Ann Waldvogel said that rather than throw the books out, as a supermarket might get rid of perfectly good fruit with a small dimple, HMP would hand out I’ve Lived in East London for 86½ Years at Underground stations.

Usually fivepence under £13: you can get this book free on Monday

The story of otherwise-obscure Jewish Cockney Joseph Markovitch (not the actor), who left the capital only once for a trip to the seaside and died aged 86 in December 2013, is illustrated with fine colour and monotone photographs (some on this page) by HMP co-founder Martin Usborne, Waldvogel’s husband.

Spot the tiny flaw

The book will be distributed on Blue Monday 15 January 2018, “the most miserable day of the (northern) year — apparently,” says Waldvogel. “Whether it is a sad day or not… this book will bring a smile or laugh to Londoners during their morning commute.

“Joseph Markovitch’s story is heart-warming… about being open to strangers and how this openness can lead to friendship.”

With luck, you can collect a copy of the I’ve Lived…, first published in 2013 at £12.95, at Old Street, Liverpool Street, Farringdon and Holborn Underground stations beteen 7.30am and 9.30am.

What’s it like like? Professional reviews are not plentiful but readers of local site loved it, as you can see from their comments.

Hamish Scott 120118

* Translation of words in first paragraph: nuffink (Cockney) — nothing; kosher (Yiddish), straight up — genuine; kushti (Romanez/RomanyBritish Gypsy) — good/lovely; knowwhaddImean — self-explanatory when you separate the words

© Hoxton Mini Press
Tube travellers are happy to receive the free Hoxton Mini Press book

* Backstory: Taste Cockney Hackney; London Fields writer bigs up Hackney; Out of the traffic, a Hackney photographer

Apart from Ann Waldvogel portrait by David Altheer all pictures on this page are by Martin Usborne.

AnnWaldvogel©DA17: @ AceHotel #Shoreditch Hi St for launch of Sonya Barber's East London: an Opinionated Guide (HoxtonMiniPress) © david.altheert[at]gmail,com
Ann Waldvogel: “Markovitch’s story is about being open to strangers”
* Emboldened underscored words in most cases indicate a hyperlink, a reader service rare among websites. If a link does not work, it is probably because the site to which the URL refers has not been maintained.

This site welcomes fair comments, including the critical. They may be edited for grammatical, legal or taste reasons, or for shortening. In the unlikely event that anything defamatory is posted, the sender’s details may have to be divulged. (Under UK law, this applies to any comment/discussion forum, eg, Twitter.) RSS feed link is at top right. Twitter: @lovingdalston Publicists, amateur and professional, should read Also relevant may be the note at the end of Photographs © David Altheer unless otherwise stated and apart from supplied pictures