Friday, 15 January 2010

That London

I haven't been down in that London for oh, nearly a year. How I've missed it. I'm a country boy at heart I suppose, but the Big City always draws me in and I have fond memories of my three year sojourn in Bedford Park. The early doors sessions around District Line pubs, the playing football in my flat at two in the morning to Led Zeppelin (the neighbours waved me goodbye with alacrity) and yelling hello to Richard Briers and his dog every morning as I ran to the Underground. Yesterday, as I sat in traffic, red stop lights reflecting on the rainy streets, it all came back. The art nouveau Blackfriars pub, The Seven Stars in Carey Street, the Inner Temple, black cabs, girls scurrying with umbrellas and the wondering if I had time for a quick Sercial in Gordon's or a slow Harvey's in The Ship & Shovel. I didn't, but as I moved up below the pigeon haunted turrets of the Holloway Road I realised I hadn't photographed anything. As the traffic came to a halt I snapped this without getting out of the car. I know, I could be anywhere, but I wasn't. I love stuff spilling out of shops onto the pavement, and this was very North London. Except for the Gourock Ferry sign in the window, which brought back the memory of sharing the journey over the Clyde to Dunoon in the 1960s with my family and an occupied coffin, put down on the deck in front of my brother's Ford Anglia. I rang the shop up about the sign. It's £85, but this is that London.

8 comments:

Jon Dudley said...

You've captured the special 'something' about 'that Lunnon'. I don't want to live there but it always draws me back. And every time I visit, Dame Temptation crooks her finger at me and I wend my way downstairs into the candlelight of Gordons only to re-appear several hours later than is good for me.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Ah, the Holloway Road is all its colourful slendour. My parents had kitchen chairs almost as bright as those. Where is that furniture now?

Diplomate said...

always keen on the shop window reflections myself - can't see you for a change. civil litigation and wills & probate departments availble though. That steel framed chair with the polka dot cover - big surge of nostalgia but can't quite place it ........

Peter Ashley said...

Actually I wish I'd bought that kitchen chair. I've got a thing about red polka dots, but usually on girls' dresses.

Sue said...

I bet Dianne Louise, lurking in the shadows there with her unfeasibly tiny waist, had a few polka dot frocks as well as the "Emerald Look".

TIW said...

Ah, Holloway. Where the saxophone player from Madness once offered to lend me a ladder, and where many years before that, my father-in-law failed to sell Jimi Hendrix a pink Cadillac.

DC said...

Gordons isn't what it was since it set itself up to serve food.

Jeff said...

Being french, I could very well not understand or share your feelings about coming back to London. But I feel the same, each year at that same period, when I walk through the town, enjoying every little detail, taking photos and smelling the town.
Thanks for your blog.