Dull and damp

This week, Tigger is at work Wednesday to Friday, leaving me to amuse myself as best I can. Yesterday (Wednesday) it was raining, which dissuaded me from going out. Today’s weather was hardly more promising but I was determined to go for a walk even if only locally. There was, however, a problem.

Dull and damp at the Angel
Dull and damp at the Angel

For some time now, the cold water tap in the kitchen area has suffered a reduced flow but I kept putting off doing anything about it as long as it was usable. Yesterday evening, the flow reduced to a mere trickle, requiring us to being all cold water from the bathroom in jugs. So this morning I called the Council’s repairs division and requested help.

They decided that an interrupted cold water supply belonged in the Urgent category and agreed to send a plumber today. They could not say when he would arrive but took my phone number saying he would call to let me know he was on his way. This meant I would have to wait in for him, however long that might be. In the event, however, he arrived around midday (without calling first). I showed him the corpus delicti and retired to a safe distance to watch the proceedings.

The job was soon done, leaving me free to have lunch and go for my walk. In view of the miserable conditions, I stayed close to home. Tigger is on holiday next week, so perhaps we can take some more adventurous walks then.

Butcher’s shop, “Late Bland”
Butcher’s shop, “Late Bland”

Though a vegetarian, I am fascinated by this butcher’s shop on the corner of St John Street and Chadwell Street. As far as I know, it is not listed, but it remains as it was long ago. Beneath the windows, in the tiling (hidden by the benches), are the words “Late Bland”, indicating that the shop once belonged to a Mr or Messrs Bland who had such a good reputation that those who took over the shop after them preserved their name as an advertisement of quality. I have no knowledge of the Blands or their business and their name remains as a touching memorial to them.

Now the Gate, once the Clown
Now the Gate, once the Clown

This striking building opposite Bland’s is now called The Gate and the ground floor is occupied by a restaurant. It probably dates to the 18th century or earlier when it was a tavern. No less a personnage than actor and comedian Joseph Grimaldi frequented it when it was known as the King of Prussia. Subsequently, it was renamed The Clown in Grimaldi’s honour. I don’t know when it ceased being a pub.

Rosebery Avenue
Rosebery Avenue

I ventured into Rosebery Avenue and walked a little way down before returning and taking this photo.

Arlington Way
Arlington Way

I turned into Arlington Way and then…

The pub vine - doing nicely
The pub vine – doing nicely

…into Myddelton Passage, where I checked the progress of the pub vine. It’s coming along nicely.

A well-kept hedge
A well-kept hedge

I admired this hedge that has been looked after and kept trim almost as well as the hedge I photographed in Kentish Town.

Gate open again
Gate open again

Throughout the pandemic until now, this gate has been chained shut but today was open again at last.

New River Head viewing platform
New River Head viewing platform

It gives access to a viewing platform overlooking the New River Head, that is, the terminus of Sir Hugh Myddelton’s famous aqueduct. There are panels of information indicating the principal buildings on the site though in fact, the vegetation and more recent buildings all but obstruct the view as these three photos show:

Views from the platform

Views from the platform

Views from the platform
Views from the platform

The dull conditions also make the view dark and uninspiring.

Window boxes provided colour
Window boxes provided colour

These window boxes did their best to add a touch of colour to the scene.

Myddelton Square Garden
Myddelton Square Garden

I peered over the railings into Myddelton Square Garden. One or two hardy souls were sitting on benches but otherwise it was deserted apart from the ever-present pigeons.

New foliage on the Curvaceous Tree
New foliage on the Curvaceous Tree

I spent some minutes looking up into the Curvaceous Tree, studying the new foliage. That was my last photo of the walk and I then hurried home to make tea and await messages from Tigger: she is on her way home!

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Just to the deli for coffee

As we had been out this morning and had enjoyed a longish ramble in Kentish Town, this afternoon we contented ourselves with a short walk to the deli and back. There were large, slow moving clouds leading to warm, sunny moments and cloudy cooler moments.

Myddelton Square, north side
Myddelton Square, north side

We went round Myddelton Square, peaceful in the sunshine.

Sunshine in the trees
Sunshine in the trees

In the central garden, the trees were full of sunshine, a beautiful sight.

Doorstep flowers
Doorstep flowers
Photo by Tigger

What I call the doorstep flowers (not knowing their proper name) had grown even thicker since I last photographed them.

Electra pedals by
Electra pedals by
Photo by Tigger

Electra was out, circling the church on her bicycle and Tigger snatched a quick shot of her.

The church in the trees
The church in the trees

The church is gradually disappearing behind its screen of trees.

Street lamp and clouds
Street lamp and clouds

We decided it was warm enough to drink our coffee at a table outside the deli. From my chair I photographed the cloudy sky silhouetting a street lamp.

Designer fabrics
Designer fabrics

On the way home, I admired this selection of cheerful designer fabrics in the window of Timorous Beasties.

Strangely quiet
Strangely quiet

The George and Monkey pub was strangely quiet with no customers at any of the tables. I did notice that on each table was a card bearing a name and a time. That suggests that they may be operating a reservation-only service.

How different will things be from the coming Monday when the next layer of restrictions is removed? We shall be able to go inside pubs, cafes and restaurants. Will there be a huge rush of customers or will people adapt gradually to the new way of life? We shall soon find out!

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Kentish Town

Kentish Town
Kentish Town

This morning we are back in Kentish Town as we have business here. Kentish Town is a lively district in the London Borough of Camden. Once rather run-down, it has in recent years improved its status to become a desirable district in which to live.

The name is thought to derive from Anglo-Saxon tun, “farm”, combined with a the family name Kentish, thus “farm of the Kentish family”. The name could indicate that the family originally came from Kent.

Kelly Street
Kelly Street

This is Kelly Street and it is one of our favourites because a many of the houses have been painted in bright colours. Whether this was a project agreed jointly by the inhabitants or whether all the houses have a single owner with an eye for colour, I do not know but the result is cheering.

Well trained hedge
Well trained hedge

In Bartholomew Road, we admired this well – almost severely – trained hedge. I wonder how long it took to reach this stage of perfection?

The old polytechnic building
The old polytechnic building

I mentioned yesterday that I used to work in Kentish Town, years ago, when the building shown above was formed part of a polytechnic. Nearby is another building that is closely connected with it in my memory.

The Abbey Tavern
The Abbey Tavern

I refer to the pub called the Abbey Tavern. I ate most of my workday lunches here, either on my own or with colleagues. In those days it was a very democratic place and the lunchtime crowd would include builders labourers in dirty clothes, smartly suited employees of the local branch of Dunn’s the hatters, students, lecturers and office workers. Many an animated discussion, not necessarily academic, has taken place here!

Blustons
Blustons

I have written elsewhere about Blustons, a traditional ladies’ clothing store, a survival of an earlier age. I am happy to see that it is now Grade II listed and currently occupied by a charity shop.

Café Renoir
Café Renoir
Photo by Tigger

We stopped for coffee at Café Renoir. We have visited this cafe often over the years and seen it change hands several times while remaining a pleasant place for coffee or a meal. Once restrictions are lifted, perhaps we will come here for a meal and sit inside. Today, of course, service was on the terrace only.

A black americano and a latte
A black americano and a latte

Today, we just had coffee, our usual order of black coffee for me and latte for Tigger. No sugar for either of us.

Plenty of space
Plenty of space

When we arrived, there was plenty of space. The sole customer already there soon departed, leaving us on our own. But…

Uncomfortably crowded
Uncomfortably crowded

…it was not long because more people came and the terrace became uncomfortably crowded. Time to drink up and leave!

Walking up Caversham Road
Walking up Caversham Road

Afterwards, we walked along Caversham Road because Tigger’s sharp eyes had spotted something interesting. Perhaps you can make it out in the distance.

Take a book, leave a book
Take a book, leave a book

Along the way, we discovered this community-oriented enterprise: it is a cupboard full of books, bearing a notice enjoining you to “Take a book, leave a book”. Quite a noble enterprise in its own way.

St Luke’s Church
St Luke’s Church

This is what Tigger had spotted and we had come to see: a Victorian church (built 1867-9) but with later additions. We could not go inside, of course, but made do with the view from outside.

The church garden
The church garden

Beside the church is a small (compared with the church) but pleasant garden.

Expensive mouldings
Expensive mouldings

The houses in this area were obviously intended to be above average quality as can be deduced from their size and the elaborateness of the decoration, such as these detailed mouldings.

Chairs to go!
Chairs to go!

Today’s give-away is a set of dining chairs (surely there should be four?) but hurry as stocks are limited!

A mixture of cultures
A mixture of cultures

I noticed this school building because it demonstrates something becoming ever more common: a mixture of cultures. In this case the cultures are ancient and modern, respectively: the roof features both an Edwardian bell tower and a modern solar panel.

Fruiterer, KentishTown Station
Fruiterer, KentishTown Station

Soon, we reached The main road again at Kentish Town railway and tube station where we would catch a 214 bus back to the Angel. My last photo was of this market-style fruit stall beside the station. On display is a wide range of produce, making a handsome show in the sunshine.

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