I’ll Give You A Clue

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Today the sun slunk back behind the newly whitewashed ceiling from which occasional leaks did spring.

In July 2005 the weather was finer, so I took a trip back there in the form of scanning another dozen colour slides of the Streets of London series.

Sandwich Street WC1 7.05

Unless they’ve relocated to much grander property in Wisconsin, Double K’s Snack Bar in the aptly named Sandwich Street WC1 is probably no longer trading.

Havelock Street N1 7.05

The mural on this corner of the Lewis Carroll Library in Islington’s Havelock Street has not escaped the attentions of a graffiti spray can. Its premises in Copenhagen Street N1 currently appear to be rather more splendid. This is a popular educational resource for children and adults.

Freeling Street N1

A palette and bags of building materials in Freeling Street serve as a seat for a worker taking a break for refreshments and phone conversation.

Chapel Market/Penton Street N1 7.05

A typical London corner shop stands on this corner of Chapel Market and Penton Street.

At the close of the 18th century townhouses with rear gardens were built along what was then Chapel Street, when it formed the eastern boundary of the new suburb of Pentonville. A fire engine house was erected in 1792 and heightened in 1822; it survives today but in poor condition.

http://hidden-london.com/gazetteer/chapel-market/ gives us this information about the market:

‘The essayist Charles Lamb lived at two addresses in Chapel Street in the late 1790s.

To the annoyance of the well-heeled residents, costermongers began to sell their wares along the street during the 19th century and by the 1860s a fully-fledged and relatively reputable market was in operation. Official designation as a street market came in 1879.

Chapel Market in March 2014*

Three years later John James Sainsbury opened his first Islington store at 48 Chapel Street, managed for a while by his eldest son, John Benjamin. The venture was so successful that the Sainsburys opened three more shops in the street, including their first branch specialising in poultry and game.

By the 1890s Chapel Street had one of the two largest markets in the Clerkenwell and Islington areas, divided roughly equally between food and non-food stalls. Furniture, earthenware, second-hand clothing and drapery were among the most popular merchandise. The council renamed the street Chapel Market in 1936.

A few mainstream retailers and fast food outlets now occupy premises towards the eastern end of the street but for the most part this remains a traditional and unpretentious market, selling mainly household goods and food. It is open every day except Monday. Despite its continuing popularity, Chapel Market is vulnerable to a future change of use owing to the high value of land in Islington.’

The Victorian Royal Free Hospital began life as The London Fever Hospital. By the 1990s this redundant facility was redeveloped for varying types of residential accommodation. http://www.locallocalhistory.co.uk/islington/royalfree/ has much interesting history on this site, modern manifestations of which include

Old Royal Free Square N1 7.05

Old Royal Free Square N1

Southwood Smith Street N1 7.05

and Southwood Smith Street N1

Battishill Street N1 7.05

London’s feral pigeons are ubiquitous. Here a trio dice with death near a corner of Battishill Street.

Kember Street N1 7.05

I do hope the driver of this Urgent Courier in Kember Street had managed to deliver his package before his van was clamped.

Bernard Street WC1 7.05

The gentleman on the balcony in Bernard Street WC1 appears to have scaled great heights in search of a mobile phone signal.

Victoria Street SW1 7.05

Now, can you spot Louisa and Errol outside the Victoria Palace Theatre?

Victoria Street SW1 7.05

I’ll give you a clue. The woman in white conversing on her mobile stands beside them when the traffic crossing figure is green. It becomes red while she approaches me, still apparently engrossed in the screen.

Victoria Street SW1 7.05

These three shots were all taken from outside an Indian restaurant where the three of us had enjoyed a pre-theatre meal before seeing the show, aptly described on the board as ‘The Greatest British Musical I’ve Ever Seen’.

Once more, by late afternoon, the sun shone from a gently clouded blue sky.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s superb sausage casserole and mashed potato flecked with carrot. She drank Hoegaarden and I drank Barossa Valley Shiraz 2016.

Buddy

On this much brighter, yet very windy, and not entirely rain-free, morning I set off by my usual route to Carol’s in SW1.  Links Avenue and Crown Lane were festooned with laminated posters advertising two different, and seperate, lost cats.  Since I saw none proclaiming found felines and there were clear photographs and full descriptions of the missing animals, I am unlikely to get into the Brendan (see 26th. June) situation again.  London Transport police were monitoring the chaotic crowds boarding buses outside the tube station.  Someone had dropped a fresh pasty outside Greggs, the bakers.  Imagine the disappointment at standing with mouth open, expecting to savour that first bite, and the snack slipping from your fingers.

Snail, Wandle trail 7.12

Magpies were drinking from a pool in the very muddy footpath in Morden Hall Park.  I’ll probably never get my toenails clean.

This is one of the fallen trees forming primitive bridges across the river Wandle.

As always in the morning, the tube trains were littered with discarded copies of Metro, a free newspaper.  Aiming for the escalator at a jam-packed Victoria underground station, a woman dragged her wheeled container over my foot. ‘Oh, look what you’re doing with it.’ was my irritated response.  Her male companion had the good sense to hold back when he considered crossing my path at the top.

The gents toilet in Victoria Station was strewn with the usual yellow cones warning of a wet floor.  One bore what I assumed to be a translation in a language with which I am unfamiliar.  It read: ‘Piso Mojado’.  A dog had left a deposit on the pavement outside the Westminster Bank in Victoria Street.

Opposite Victoria Station stands the Victoria Palace Theatre.  I have attended two and a half performances there in the past, one of them augmented by my own.  ‘Billy Elliot’ has been playing there for some years.  It is quite the best stage production of its kind that I have ever seen.  During the first week, for Louisa’s birthday, I took her and Errol to see the show.  At the time the film was one of Louisa’s favourites.  Naturally we had a curry beforehand.

Some years earlier, soon after Becky had returned to London from Newark, I arranged to meet her at Victoria Station to take her to the Victoria Palace to see one of the opening performances of ‘Buddy’.  She didn’t turn up.  Since this was most unlike either one of my two reliable daughters I waited an hour.  The only other person I have ever waited for that long was her mother on our first date, again at Victoria Station.  Having finally given up on Becky, wondering what on earth had gone wrong, which probably affected my mood, I went to the theatre, explained the situation, and asked for a refund.  This was not possible.  I asked to speak to the manager.  He was unavailable.  ‘OK,’ said I, tearing up the tickets which I threw into the office, ‘you have these, they’re no good to me.’  Storming out of the theatre in high dudgeon, I walked straight into Becky.

Somewhat shame-faced we returned to the ticket office where I sought admission.  There was now a different booking clerk.  We could not gain admission because the show had started and anyway I didn’t have any tickets.  I quickly replaced my blown gasket and again asked to speak to the manager.  This time I was invited to wait for the intermission when he might just possibly be available.  He did indeed materialise.  The jigsaw puzzle that was the shredded tickets was fished out of the wastepaper basket, pieced together, and closely scrutinised.  We now found that the manager was sympathetic to our plight.  He had actually appeared before the intermission but invited us to wait until then and enter the theatre during the break.  We were given two much better seats and tickets for a future complete performance. Is that ever likely to happen again?   ‘That’ll be the day’.

Our evening meal tonight consisted of Jackie’s Penne Pasta and my Mehti Ghost and rice; each made some time ago; and each served up on the same plate.  Jackie had a small bottle of Hoegaarden and I had a couple of glasses of the Campo Viejo 2007 reserve rioja which Danni gave me for my birthday.