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Incessant rain had hammered down for 24 hours after the family left yesterday. It was not until mid afternoon that we could go outside to survey the damage and stake up the taller plants like
these nicotiana sylvestris that had been beaten and weighed down.
Some, such as the Priscilla gladioli, had been broken off completely. Becky made their vase more than 20 years ago.
In the meantime, I scanned another dozen slides from May 2004 in my Streets of London Series.
During that time I regularly walked past Murray Road NW1 on my way to visit a foster home in North London. The maroon concrete planters were part of the London Borough of Camden’s efforts to brighten up the streets.
Essie Carpets, at 64 Piccadilly, on the corner of Albemarle Street, W1, sells Persian and Oriental rugs of allegedly superior quality. Never having been able to contemplate such luxuries I am unable to confirm this from my own experience.
Crossing Piccadilly and walking through Piccadilly Arcade, one comes face face with Beau Brummell, that famous Regency dandy about whom Wikipedia has this entry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beau_Brummell
The sculpture was made by Irene Sedlecka in 2002.
The next three photographs were made in a district which came to National consciousness in the 1980s when ‘the deputy Conservative Party chairman and author Jeffrey Archer met the prostitute Monica Coghlan‘ This last phrase and the next three paragraphs are slightly edited extracts from Wikipedia.
‘Shepherd Market is a small square in the Mayfair area of central London, developed in 1735-46 by Edward Shepherd on the open ground then used for the annual May fair from which Mayfair gets its name. It is located between Piccadilly and Curzon Street and has a village-like atmosphere. The area was called Brook Field, through which flowed the Tyburn. It contained paved alleys, a duck pond, and a two-storey market topped by a theatre.
During the 1920s, Shepherd Market was a run down area, popular with writers and artists such as Michael Arlen and Sophie Fedorovitch. Arlen rented rooms opposite The Grapes public house and used Shepherd Market as the setting for his best-selling 1924 novel The Green Hat, which prompted Anthony Powell to move into the area in 1926.
Jeffrey Archer once cajoled thousands of pounds from guests at a Charity Dinner auction on behalf of Parents for Children Adoption Society during my period of Chairmanship.
I assume the driver of this police car alongside Chesterfield Street, still in Mayfair, was seeking directions from a colleague.
Hay’s Mews still contains some of the original converted stable buildings.
Around one corner is Waverton Street;
and Rex Place run into S. Audley Street where services are still held in the 18th century Anglican Grosvenor Chapel.
This young man must have taken his life in his hands as he crossed Park Lane and straddled the stride-stretching barrier to reach this strip of grass. And he could manage to sit cross-legged afterwards.
This evening Jackie collected our dinner from the garrulous Mr Chatty Man Chan at Hordle Chinese Take Away. Dessert was treacle tart and ice cream. We both drank Kingfisher