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Chiswick, situated on the north bank of the River Thames is the next distinct area of London west of Hammersmith. Many people will know it as the place with the last roundabout before the M4 towards Heathrow from the centre of town.

Chiswick has a distinct character that sets it aside from other parts of London. Some would say it has a village atmosphere. Chiswick was one of the first parts of London to experience the growth of the café culture with the multitude of bars and restaurants encroaching on the pavement. More cynical observers might suggest that Chiswick is the place where residents of Fulham move to when they have kids.

Local landmarks include Fuller's Brewery, Chiswick House and Hogarth's House. The current residents are predominantly Conservative (with a big and a small C) and generally tend to feel disaffected with the local council based in Hounslow, not least because of their inaction over Chiswick's terrible traffic problem.

William Hogarth, the English painter, made Chiswick his home and built Hogarth's House in the 18th Century. The Fuller's brewery was already there but not much else. Bedford Park became London's first garden suburb in the late 19th Century and was the home of William Butler Yeats. The 20th Century saw Chiswick grow with the advent of the underground and general growth of London. Today, an affluent area with correspondingly high property prices, Chiswick is the home of a number of Luvvies including Sophie Ellis Bextor's mum Janet Ellis and Richard Briers of "The Good Life" fame as well as the great Scott Walker.

Cold day, holding my coat close and waiting on the high street. She walked past and sat on a nearby park bench, long grey hair wrapped into an elegant bun and held with a carved tortoise shell comb. Her ankles were swollen and as thick as her calves. I wondered how far she had come. As she rose I heard the soft rustling sound and realised; she had lined her clothes with plastic shopping bags for warmth. Some days London made me ache.

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