Ellie Stewart works for the King’s College Hospital fundraising team as a Digital Communications Coordinator. She grew up in Wimbledon Park, moved to Kent at the age of 11, and studied English and Philosophy at the University of Leeds. When not working for King’s, Ellie likes to explore new places in London to visit and writes short stories and poems that have been published online and in print. She has lived in Brockley for a year and a half. You can find out more about supporting King’s College Hospital at the fundraising website Togetherwecan.org or on Twitter @supportKings
Where would you like to live in south London?
I’d love to live in Greenwich. It’s a beautiful place: those majestic buildings, the river, the tumbled-together streets. The views over London from the top of the park are breath-taking.
What is your favourite sound or smell (in south London)?
I love to hear the cries of the seagulls. It’s always a surprise to hear them in the city, and when I do it makes me feel closer to the sea.
What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That empathy is the most important quality human beings possess, and that being compassionate to people is the way to true happiness.
What is your earliest (south London) memory?
I remember going to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich at the age of seven and not appreciating it. And I used to go to Brixton Academy to gigs as a teenager: one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to was seeing The White Stripes play there about 10 years ago.
What makes you unhappy?
The tube, and the way people behave on it. Rushing between hot, speeding, subterranean trains seems to bring out the worst in human beings.
What simple thing would improve your quality of life?
Having a cat. I always had them growing up so it’s very sad not to have any now. We’re hoping to get a garden in the next place we move to so we can adopt a rescue cat.
Where do you hang out (in south London)?
The Orchard is a really nice pub/restaurant in Brockley that serves proper cider, and the New Cross House in New Cross has a great atmosphere. At the weekends I like to discover new South London places: The Horniman Museum has an awesome aquarium and beautiful gardens, there’s Crystal Palace park with their endearingly inaccurate dinosaur statues, and we went on a bat walk recently in Brockwell Park. The main thing I’ve learnt about London is that there is so much going on, but you have to make an effort to seek it out: it won’t just come to you.
Who or what do you dislike and why?
I’m not a fan of places that are self-consciously trendy (I’m looking at you, East London). You know: reclaimed warehouses with the pipes exposed where everyone wears ironic anoraks and sip £15 cocktails. They kind of make me feel like the least cool kid at the school disco.
Tell us a secret.
When I was little, I didn’t have an imaginary friend- I had an imaginary horse. I used to walk around with my arm held up to hold its imaginary reins. It probably looked a bit odd.
The house I live in is…
Unfortunately not owned by us. We live in the top floor of a house that we rent from a live-in landlady, just by Brockley station. It’s very cheap rent, but I’d love to have a place to ourselves with a garden.
Describe yourself as an animal.
My friend Polly tells me I remind her of her a baby giraffe. Only she knows why…