Many a wanderer of Deptford’s Edward Street and its surrounding alleys will have seen the ‘PEABODY OUT OF DEPTFORD’ graffiti lining the backs of shops and estate walls. Reading the statement of protest in passing, the pedestrian will likely come to assume the Peabody threat signifies an act of gentrification, fascist trouble, or other such unwanted presence beckoning the outcry of the area’s enraged direct-actioners (ICC local interviews, 2019). It is the hubbub of local irritation at ‘the Peabody Problem’ that led to the tragic disappearance of Miss Baglady, a recluse who fell in love, or thought as much, with the enigmatic newcomer in town. Little did she know that the title in question names not a handsome suitor but one of London’s oldest housing associations, a trust with upward of 55,000 properties and regeneration projects infecting the area.

Estelle Witwont, or Miss Baglady as her neighbours came to know her, was born in 1979 in the Pepys Estate, and by early adulthood had resigned almost entirely to a solitary indoor lifestyle, subsisting on her inheritance from a late aunt in Belarus and a lifetime’s supply of cherimoya fruit won in an online prize draw, which she had delivered to her Deptford High Street flat. Estelle lived above a small bar, a magnet for regular alcoholics and irregular students, which after she chose to reject modern technology in 2012 became her only point of contact with external sociality. She spent evenings eavesdropping on the patrons’ chatter, and on occasion would steel herself with a bottle of Russian Standard and venture downstairs to perch upon a barstool deemed too fragile to succeed ornamental status. Approaching 2018, Estelle grew in confidence and attempted to truly immerse herself in the bar’s social circulus, yet was tendentiously excluded from conversation due to accusations of oddity; she was assumed schizophrenic and asked to leave upon the arrival of dogs or children to the establishment. It was around this time that mentions of Peabody’s arrival arose in hushed complaints amongst self-confessed ‘hobosexual’ Jay-Man and his bearded ilk. Indeed, the housing association had just begun the construction of ‘The Scene’, a hip student location plumping the rear of Amersham Vale, SE14.

Here the mortal discrepancy of Estelle‘s misunderstanding began to bloom. Fascinated by the customers’ slurred revulsion at Peabody, she became fixated on the name, and for a lack of clarity in what it actually referred to, formed an ‘idealised personification’ of what was now a ‘him’; here we refer to associate psychiatrist Chloe Ruttle’s analysis of Estelle’s internal reasonings. Estelle was ‘introverted to a debilitating degree’ and had never before engaged in romance outside of imagined celebrity pursuits, and so was susceptible to ‘parasocial’ interactions. These consist of a mistaken sense of reciprocity in what is in fact a nonexistent relationship, whereby one invests a great deal of affection and attachment toward someone who is entirely unaware of their existence. Estelle's parasocial obsession with Peabody bloomed at a rate equivalent to her almost immediate social withdrawal. Her days were consumed by thoughts of her lover, and hours could be passed imagining intimate scenarios with the man she had never once seen. As we find in the sketchbooks and journals left behind after her vanishing, she pictured Peabody to be tall and emaciated, with intense, dark eyes. Peabody is depicted to enjoy gardening and displays of public indecency (many drawings show the man watering sunflowers at the decorated roundabout on Deptford Church Street in nothing but a ragged leather jacket and cable-knit socks).

By the sweltering zenith of 2019, Estelle Witwont was but a memory to the below merry-men, only leaving the flat to collect her weekly deliveries of bespoke stationery and meat. The Peabody construction site less than a mile away had by now been cranked and hammered into a scaffolded skeleton, and so was bemoaned by the regulars at such a frequency that enabled Estelle to glean its location through the floor-boards. Her ecstacy at this discovery did not pass unnoticed. Reports affirm ‘Yoko-Ono-esque wailing, and all such-and-such’ from upstairs. Her vocalisations managed to usurp the blues playlist that blared from the bar’s speakers at an ever-increasing volume. Noise complaints began to appear on the bar's Google Reviews page and were mistakenly directed toward the barmaid.

Estelle’s first correspondence to Peabody is dated ‘13/SEVEN/2019’. Here we shift our source of information to her letters themselves, which over the course of the ‘affair’ were collected from the construction site’s tattered lobby by young bricklayer Nowy Dwor and submitted to the ICC. Notably, Estelle’s personal journaling ceased on the day of the first letter; her writing was now devoted entirely to Peabody.

We provide below:

It is with a trembling hand and a runaway pulse that I begin this first (and maybe-only-ever) letter to you, Peabody, the name by which you have begun to be known-around-town; if these words do happen to be accepted into your gentle heart, I should hope that you will tell me your real name, in fore- and in sur-, so that I may think of you in a sense so pure, in not knowing you, stranger - your fancies, your terrors and idle daydreams, nor what-not, but knowing you as one would a new-born-child, having only just been Christened the lifelong assurance of being addressed an individual. For I am swept in the unforgiving tide of the talk-around-town, and in such chatter a man may not least be human himself, for the tendrils of his very flesh are now weaved of whispered rumours. And so in the stupor of gossip, my heart protests. I cannot help but think of you, the man-new-to-town, to whom such flesh is nothing more than his very own, true limb and easy smile; his elbow on which he props himself one lazy Sunday afternoon, his spine which aches with a worrying regularity, his eyelid which twitches with exhaustion. He wonders, distractedly to himself in the midst of polite conversation, whether the twitch is visible, and tries to still its flickering with his thumb.

Of course there would be no reply to her correspondence, though we see Estelle’s longing ever amplified as the ‘affair’ deepened. As Ruttle writes: ‘parasocial rejection... can conversely strengthen a lover’s feelings. Not only is the object of their desires shown to be more aloof and captivating, but the characteristics the parasocial agentor imagines of their object can become further enmeshed in the absence of a real exchange’. A follow-up letter pocketed by Dwor demonstrates Ruttle’s explanation rigorously:


In my ambition to know you I have [water damaged] I have in-my-mind sewn the tactile comfort of your face, how I dream of seeing you one evening as you approach from a distance; a frame, a silhouette, until we are so close in embrace that I can follow in-my-eyes every stitch to your collar and every hair to your chin, and how I know [water damaged] O, it soothes me so! that in togetherness our skin is formed of a million shattered triangles, tapestries of tentative foliage.

O, I feel you beside me, though this ghostliness taunts me, for yet I don’t even know your name, nor your scent nor your habits, nor whether you brush your teeth before or after eating your breakfast; whether you eat breakfast indeed, or brush your teeth, for that matter. It is not enough. For my knowing-you holds no relation, I am a-lone in you. It is not you, then, whom I long to meet, it is you.

September of 2019 was littered with rainy spells, dampening the interior of the still-roofless Peabody construction site. By the time Dwor had collected Baglady’s letters from their sludgy depository the ink most often had leaked, rendering the words illegible. Of Estelle’s remaining letters, only a fraction of the text has been salvaged in the ICC's Artefactal Preservation Unit. Regardless, it is calculated that between August 2 and Christmas Day over 110 letters were sent, 59 of these in November.

Aforementioned drawings of the carnate Peabody were torn from journals and placed in the envelopes, as was an annotated A3 cross-section of Estelle’s imagining of the inside of Peabody’s ‘utility rucksack’. The biro sketch, which follows a triangulated technical-drawing template, shows three silver pocket knives, a watering can, a Christmas-edition miniature bottle of Malbec, a pair of Topman boxers, miniature ketchup sachets and something labeled ‘generic rubble’. A positively soggy attempt from 1/NINE/2019 contains a lock of Estelle’s hair in a taped cardboard insert entitled ‘For you to hold a little part of what is come of my Being’. The hair is dark brown and encased in tiny white beads of mould. It has since been handed in to the police as evidence following Estelle’s disappearance. She also wrote Peabody a number of love songs, which entail folksy themes of meadow frolick and naïve romance. These songs are very unlike her incisively visceral letters, and are believed by Ruttle to be ‘emanations of a lighter shade of psychic duality’. As below, we witness Estelle’s final documented decline into madness.


My faraway dream, your silence tortures me. Nightly I stare into the bedroom-fuzz in-darkness, and the fingers of a cruel hand lace about my limbs a rough thread, and I am danced in-to panic until in-to delirium, and I stagger in-to my own mind until in-to death [a great deal of the letter here is water damaged] ...and do, I will keep you in Red wine. I picture its Redness settling homestead into the cracks in your lips, and [water damaged] the ridiculous cocktails they serve, clumsy fruits slotted to the rims of water-stained glasses, and we’re cackling in the sticky vice of drunkenness. O, deal me your pittance, and I will bloom inside your heart a fair fortune. O, do…

The disappearance of Estelle Witwont was not immediately recorded; there was no shock of finding her room empty, nor a marked absence from any regular attendance of hers. Even after her introduction to the drinking community, common knowledge of her presence remained extremely minor and she was generally disliked. Police informants of the ICC calculate that she vacated her flat a month prior to any notice of her disappearance. The deliveries of cherimoya that she once dutifully collected from the rear staircase began to be dumped outside her door following her failure to answer the phone upon the courier’s arrival. The fruit began to fester and the smell and gathering flies offend the bar’s customers and local residents. It was only then that the police were involved and the ICC received information on the event, giving much conclusion to previous efforts to pursue myths surrounding Peabody-related graffiti and hushed talk of ‘Baglady’. On the first day of December, graffiti appeared inside the over-road bridge at 88 Edward Street (Arches 210-227) declaring ‘BAGLADY LOVES PEABODY’. Initial responses urged police to suspect Estelle’s fall to addiction and vagrancy, though forensic investigations conclude that the tag is a hoax, and bears no instance of Estelle’s DNA. The investigation petered out following a brief round of local questioning and Estelle's case has been largely forgotten. The woman has not been heard of since.

Development of the Peabody building resumed in summer of 2021, and the site was surrounded in advertising barricades. One of which, reading 'MAKE EVERY DAY A WORK OF ART', was defaced to instead read 'FART', and has not yet been fixed.


The Tree of Wife (aka the Birds’ Tree) grows by the stream in Deptford’s Margaret McMillan park. The tree, which is of unknown age, bears a citrus-like fruit, which is said to have aphrodisiac properties. Over time, the tree's fruit has gained a reputation as a reliably successful gift for romancing a woman, hence its name, which is a debauched play on the Biblical Tree of Life. The significance of the tree, however, implies something of a reversal of the story of the Fall, as we see first mentioned in Stumbalin McGinty's Prophecies of Love. The third Prophecy professes that a man giving the tree’s fruit to his romantic interest will result in the dissipation of his self-conscious modesty, which will give way to romantic sincerity, intimacy and the coming-together of souls. There is a further prediction in McGinty's prophecy of the ineviability of marriage should the object of a man's desires eat the whole fruit. In some corrupted retellings of the legend, the female reveals her bosom.

Collector and scientist Frederick Horniman, founder of the Horniman Museum, preserved a specimen of such fruit in the private chambers lining the vast basement of the collection in Forest Hill, SE23. It is labeled in its cabinet as a 'Squinck', deriving from the McGinty prophecy's 'offerance of Squince'. The change in spelling was found to be an explicit order of the London County Council, of which Horniman was a member. When Horniman devoted his estate and museum to the LCC, an executive decision was made to detach the fruit from its associations with depravity.

Pick’d sweet fruits in sunlight your hands

Extend t’the fairest maiden of tree-grewn Land

Thine offerance of Squince if duly accept’d

Calls wedd’d love a-blooming in Depeford…


Xero Whaiste, a living example of nominative determinism, was democratically elected Student Ambassador of Environmental Justices for the Student Union at Goldsmiths University in March 2020. Xero is a founder of the UK Student Climate Network, closely affiliated with the Extinction Rebellion movement, or XR. Xero is agender, though on occasion identifies as non-binary, and has comedically referred to themself as 'mulletsexual'. This is the only information the ICC holds on Xero, for they have refused to reveal their face or meet with the ICC in person, for reasons we are yet to understand.

The mystery of the missing Estelle Witwont was adopted by The search for the missing Estelle Witwont was caught on to by students at Goldsmiths University in New Cross. the search for the missing Miss Baglady, symbols were found smeared into the Tree's adjacent path using the Squinck fruit's red juices. The sigils, left undisturbed by police, were discovered the following evening by students taking a walk through the park.

Skylar-Rae Plinkington and Xero Whaste, both non-binary gendered, are attendees of Goldsmiths University of London. They are of a neo-pagan/new wave persuasion (their exact materialo-spiritual convictions were put indecipherably vaguely in ICC interviews), and hold interest in astrology and the practise of crystal healing. Upon discovery of the sigils, Whaste and Plinkington captured photographs of the path and sat on a nearby bench to discuss the potential implications of their findings. Having adjusted the clarity and contrast scales on the photographs to better reveal outlines of the drawn shapes they uploaded them to an online symbol-identifying tool to locate their names. The sigils are in fact 'seals' which can be found in the Book of Fifty Names of the dreaded NECRONOMICON, the book of magic and ritual denied to exist by H.P. Lovecraft. As written in the 1977 edition, as introduced by an individual only known as Simon, the NECRONOMICON

'is, according to Lovecraft's tales, a volume written in Damascus in the Eighth Century, A.D, by a person called the "Mad Arab" '...

The Book of Fifty Names reveals fifty cicular-bordered seals, which when drawn, summon a corresponding Name from the book.. The seals drawn at the foot of the Birds' Tree correspond to