st. john street

Sherlock Holmes and His Inability to Go Trick-or-Treating. (One Part Halloween Special)

“Rosie, come here, honey”

“Yes Daddy-” she grinned as she toddled over to me, “What’s wrong, Daddy?”

“Oh, nothing, honey- I just think you look like the prettiest witch I’ve ever laid eyes on, that’s all.”

I pulled her close and she squirmed and giggled in the breadth of my goliath Frankenstein costume.

“Careful, Daddy, don’t elec- don’t eltrec- ezzec-”

“Electrocute.” Corrected Sherlock. “Say it phonetically Rosamund: ee-lec-tro-cute. Go on.”

“Ee-ee-eelectrocoo?”

“Not quite there, my dear Watson.”

Sherlock twirled around magnificently, his cape flouncing decadantly in the sweet exilhiration of youth, scooped Rosie up with two outstretched arms and held her from underneath her arms.

“Electrocuted. A difficult word to say. Especially for a two-and-three-quarters year-old child.” He teased, “Now, don’t you look magnificent!”

He gasped sharply in mock awe and cried, “But doesn’t Daddy over there look terrifying?!”

“Scary Daddy!” She laughed.

He gently put her down, went to walk away, but was stopped in his tracks by a little witch’s broomstick being jabbed in his shins.

“Hubble, bubble, toil and rubble!”

“Trouble, Rosie, trouble is the word.”

“You’re teaching her Shakespeare now?” I huffed in a disgruntled moan, “Come on Sherlock, she’s only three for Christ sake.”

“Wrong. She is not yet three. For a Frankenstein, your brain is very slow. You’d think your creator would have plucked a better one from the earth. Of all graves, he picked John Watson’s. He could have taken your arm,” he pulled my arm upwards, “Your leg”, he kicked my leg to the side, “Your fantastic, incredible pelvis”, he slid his hand from the bolts on my neck, down my tingling spine, to my lower back and gently pulled it forward- ever closer to his frontage.

“Perhaps your neck?” He leaned down to my painted countenance and stroked my cheek with his bladed face, fangs and all touching my jaw seductively.

He grazed my shaven face with his deathly pale undead smirk and looked into my eyes. My heart raced.

“Your lips…” I drew in my breath as he came nearer to my unquivering mouth.

“But no!” He spouted, causing me to be plucked from my dreamlike trance and thrust into grim reality. Or Grimm’s reality. I wasn’t really sure. All I new was that Count Dracula was staring me in the face, holding me tight, and that I had nowhere to run.

“He neglected all of your wonderful physical features and took your ordinary brain.”

“Is that an insult or dirty talk?!” I chuckled, “You’re not too good at these things, you know!”

“Oh, but I am. You see- you hadn’t allowed me to speak of your fantastic optimism. The benevolence and passion which resides in that relatively ordinary mind of yours.”

“Relatively?”

“Mmm. Yes indeed. For a mind such as yours is commonplace and ignored in the nonchalance of the social majority. The public. But here, in my vampire lair,” he joked, “It is a trophy. A gift. And I want to spend every single day with it in my keep. In my keep. In… my… keep. Rosie, that’s your cue!”

“Sorry Daddy!” She bounced across the floor and clicked a button on the millennium era stereo which I’d never bordered to upgrade. Upon which, a beautiful serenade began to play and the flat was filled with the pungent shrillness of a violin masterfully played.

Still in possession of my faculties, Sherlock raised my arms and lurched my hips deep into the depth of his. He lead and I followed his sensitive sway. We were dancing.

I embedded myself into his shoulder and inhaled the intoxicating fumes of the world’s only Consulting Detective. He smelt clean and sharp. The world’s only. One of a kind. I was locked into his posture and our two movements became one singular structure of motion.

As I sunk further into his breast, I felt my shoulders be pushed back, then my chest, my front and then my…

“Erm, Sherlock, you’re awfully close to my-”

“No words.”

He kept lowering himself down the straight of my body. Slowly, methodically, studying my every dimension, before slumping at the floor and unfurling from his leathery shawl.

He pulled something from the plumage of his collar.

“Sherlock…”

“No words!” He scolded. “Ah, erm, where was I?” He composed himself and took a full set of lungs. So full of oxygen, I thought he might combust.

“John Hamish Watson. We have known eachother for some time now. Throughout thick and thin, life and death, you have stood by me. You- ha, you- ahaha, you-”

He convulsed into a fenzy of uncontrollable laughter. Shaking with humour, he tried to stand, but then failed disgracefully. At this moment, I siezed with guffaws and clutched my stomach.

“Sherlock, you’re not meant to be laughing right now!” I giggled.

I helped him up and we leaned together, each stance entirely depending on the other’s.

I looked up and smiled- now at his dislodged fang- “I never thought I’d say ‘yes’ to Count Dracula himself.”

His grin dissolved and his brows closed together. His nostrils flared like a beast and his lips were pursed and bitten.

“You’re… saying… yes?”

I smiled at the idiot trying to propose to me and took the ring from his sweaty palm and placed it firmly on my finger.

“There, look- now we’re engaged.”

“We’re… engaged. We’re engaged!” He pulled me back in and spun me around innumerable times before planting me back on the floor and staring at my misty eyes with glee.

“We’re engaged!” He gasped, “We are engaged.”

“Yay! Daddy and Dad are en… enga… enrag?”

“Engaged, honey,” I corrected, “Daddy and Dad are engaged.”

“So… can we go trick-or-treating now?!” She bounded up and down with pure excitement.

“Yes!” Sherlock and I chanted in unison.

We marched downstairs, hand-in-hand, clad in our monstrous battlesuits and opened the door of 221b and stepped into London as an engaged couple.

There, to my suprise, stood a greeting party!

Fairy Molly Hooper! Werewolf Lestrade! Poorly-wrapped-toilet-roll-mummy Mrs Hudson, and last but not least… er… Mycroft?

He wasn’t dressed up.

He whipped his umbrella from behind him and put it up.

“I’m Mary Poppins.” He mocked.

“HAPPY ENGAGEMENT!” Roared our friends.

“You told them?!”

“Oh, deary, you couldn’t possibly think Sherlock Holmes could have made that beautiful proposal without consulting actual humans, do you?” Spoke a teary Mrs Hudson. “I’m just glad you finally realised-”

“I’m not gay!” I yelled

“Oh, yes dear, we know. You’re… bi-sex-ual.” She stammered, marvelling at this newfangled concept.

“I just meant that we’re glad you finally realised that you two were simply meant to be, that’s all.” She whimpered, before she and Molly hugged a very tearful embrace.

“Congratulations, boys. I do really hope you two will be happy together.” Said Mycroft with just a tinge of genuine happiness on his face.

“Lads!” Cried Lestrade as he rushed us with a brutush cuddle, “Lads I gotta tell ya, I am so happy for you. So happy!” He reiterated with a second hug.

“But”, questioned Molly, where are the balloons?“

"Balloons?” All but Sherlock queried in chorus-

“Yeah,” nodded Greg, “Or the race cars?”

“Race cars?!”

“Or the fireworks?” Asked Mrs Hudson.

We all turned to Sherlock.

“Although those ideas were… marvellous, I felt that I was really obligated to manifest my own proposal. I do hope you all understand.”

The group nodded sheepishly.

“However, I hope you are all ready for a fast paced, helium filled, dazzlingly bright wedding!”

We all rejoiced together. Our wedding was to be a ridiculous, high-octane, childish and extremely loud family affair. Mummy Holmes wasn’t going to be happy!

Rosie interjected; “Sweeties!”

“All right love, let’s go.” I said. Rosie slipped her hand into mine and Sherlock was hesitant, but did the same with her little talons.

“I want sugar!” She ran off and laughed with the girls. The lads hung at the back of the ghoulish procession,

“Tell her not to worry, John. Her father will be getting enough sugar for the both of them tonight, eh brother mine?” Taunted Mycroft.

“You bet.” He turned to me.

“I’m thinking we stay in costume?” He whispered to me sensually, “In character even? After all, vampires have incredible sucking powers don’t they?”

By Jonathan Heaf

The star-wrangling DJ takes Kanye’s meltdown and Bieber’s moods in his stylish stride at Luca

Is Nick Grimshaw still cool? This is, after all, precisely the reason why he was hired by the BBC in 2012 to host The Radio 1 Breakfast Show, taking over from the old, unfathomably uncool Chris Moyles. He certainly looks pretty cool as he hops from the back of a cab outside our lunch destination, all teeth and sports luxe.

Navy suede bomber, blue tailored trousers, black Vans and dark shades. He’s trendy yet clean, sort of Shoreditch via a bath, if you will; a hipster who’s made some decent wedge. The idea that authenticity (what young people think of as cool nowadays) can be upgraded for Joe Public via a little luxury befits our location, Luca, on St John Street in Clerkenwell. It’s run by the same team who run The Clove Club, a restaurant that brought sophisticated food - rather than just triple-cooked chips with aioli - to Shoreditch several years ago. This is their attempt at a posh Italian.

We begin by talking about Justin Bieber. Grimshaw and I - only school kids call him “Grimmy” - have something in common in that we both adore gossiping about famous people we’ve interviewed. Bieber, Beyoncé, Beckham, he’s done the lot. I tell him my worst interviewee by far was Christina Aguilera during her Stripped period. She was wearing so much fake tan that she left a trail of brown radioactive sludge wherever she perched. At the time, I remember thinking she resembled an enormous melted orange crayon.

“I’ve done Bieber every year since he was 14, so I’ve probably had deeper conversations with him than I’ve had with my own family,” he chuckles. Is he a terrible brat? “He used to be. But then every teenager is a dickhead, aren’t they? This year he came into the studio for a prerecord and he was monosyllabic and disinterested. I stopped the interview and asked him what the problem was. He told me he was hungover. So I got him a pint and a Nando’s. Celebrities are just dogs who need petting. Show them some love and they’ll be humping your leg before lunch.”

Speaking of which, we’ve ordered already: shaved fennel with pear salad and carpaccio of Hereford beef with oyster emulsion to start; for mains we choose pasta entrées: garganelli with pork sausage, tomato and anchovy (for him) and tiny pheasant milanese swimming in a peppery, sepia-coloured broth (for me). We drink lager and pale ale and agree the food is, although refined, broadly unexceptional.

Getting back to the gossip, I want his take on Kanye West - meltdown or precision press strategy? “Kanye might be having a nervous breakdown or he might just be really bored.” He’s bleached his hair, I say. Like with Britney Spears, extreme grooming is always a cultural cipher that indicates a celeb is one sad-face emoji short of self-immolation. “I like Kanye, or I like his music. I asked him once if he got lots of free stuff sent to him and he took it as an insult. ‘Do you think I’m cheap?’ he shouted. 'I drink champagne all day. Do you?’ No thanks, Kanye. It gives me dog breath.”

You can see why stars like Grimshaw. He’s brilliant fun, smart and utterly self-deprecating. “What I do isn’t work - it’s talking to myself in a room really early in the morning.” He doesn’t take talent, or himself, too seriously, thus he’s able to sweetly pop celebrities’ ego bubbles and talk to them like a normal person, something the swarming teams around megastars all too often are unable to do.

“I hate a kiss-ass,” he agrees. “Any celebrity that comes into the studio at 7am in the morning to be grilled by me and tells me how happy they are to be here is lying.” His realness has meant he’s been able to make friends with some of those he’s encountered along the way, Harry Styles, for one. Has he heard from Harry recently? “Sure, we texted this morning. He’s worried I won’t like his new solo record. He recorded it in Jamaica so I am praying it’s some awful white-man reggae.”

Cool? Yes, Nick Grimshaw will always be cooler than his employers -always has been, always will be. That’s why he didn’t fit in with Simon Cowell on The X Factor: “Everyone told me not to do it as it was so naff. Simon had weird energy: very Machiavellian.” So what happens when he eventually leaves The Radio 1 Breakfast Show? Where do DJs go to die? The pub? “I’m doing an internship,” he confesses proudly. “With Es Devlin, who designs huge stage sets for Adele and Beyoncé. I’ve been using a glue gun! I’ve always liked three things: music, nice shoes and good lighting. I’ve ticked two of those boxes, so why not the last?

"I’ve reached a point in my life where I know all that celebrity stuff is, ultimately, nonsense. What I need to think about is this: am I happy, am I healthy and am I being nice to my family? I guess it’s about being present.” Which is the least cool, but most honest thing Nick Grimshaw says all afternoon. GQ