Today I thought I had better get my tubes done. These are the tubes in my hearing aids. They transmit the sound from the electronic nodule behind my ear to the earpiece, rather like the speaking tubes you see in old films when the mad aunt calls the butler to bring tea. Though made of good quality plastic, they become hard after a few months and risk splitting. As they hold the whole thing together, being plugged into the earpiece at one end and having the nodule plugged in at the other end, that would cause it to fall apart.
A clue to where I went is the cat above. He stands outside the Whittington Hospital.
I like the audiology department there. It’s informal and friendly and they don’t mind doing running repairs. The man dealing with me sat me in a slightly cluttered office while he went off to find new tubing and fit it to my “dolbies”.
The Whittington is at Archway, the district named after the famous road bridge. Archway is not the pleasantest nor most interesting part of London (if you disagree, leave a comment and prove me wrong!), so once my business was done, I moved on.
Many will recognize this big and striking Victorian pub, called The Meeting House. It is a landmark in Kentish Town, dating from 1898. It overlooks the platforms of Kentish Town railway station. At this point, north-bound trains enter a tunnel that runs under the pub.
Though at first sight just a suburban station for local train services, Kentish Town is more important than that. Trains to Luton and Bedford stop here, carrying commuters morning and evening. North-bound trains from King’s Cross also thunder through here.
I have a sentimental attachment to Kentish Town having worked here for a number of years. The Baths and Wash House was therefore a familiar sight to me. It long ago ceased to serve its original purpose, of course, and its future was in doubt.
I am happy to see that the building will be preserved by popular demand and put to a purpose not too dissimilar to the original: it will be a swimming baths with three pools. Future generations will be able to admire its carvings and reliefs.
It may seem unlikely that we ever dined in the dump pictured above but we did, though it was some time ago and it wasn’t in quite the state that you see it in the picture. Even so, it was the most eccentric restaurant I have dined in. The manager questioned us before deigning to serve us. He didn’t want any riff-raff in his restaurant of the sort that, according to him, infested Kentish Town in the evenings. When I said that I used to be a lecturer in the poly across the road, he seemed reassured and we were allowed to order. The food was neither the most delicious nor the best served that I have eaten.
When I asked where I would find the gents, I was told I would have to be accompanied. The chef led me up to the third or fourth floor and on the way we passed abandoned and desolate areas. I was at least allowed to find my own way down.
“Casa Sindy” was Tigger’s name for this strange restaurant. Why? Because much of the decor consisted of Sindy dolls and other plastic toys.
This is where I used to work in Kentish Town. The building has a long history as an educational institution but today, sadly perhaps, it is an apartment block. There is a Pizza Express occupying the space that once contained the board room where I spent hours in boring meetings…
Of course, where there is a polytechnic or a university, there is also a pub. For some of us, The Abbey was an unofficial staff room. Down the road was a Dunn’s factory and we would share the space with men dressed in smart suits and Dunn’s hats.
Dunn’s has gone and so has the polytechnic but the area seems as lively as ever. But that’s enough nostalgia for today: time to go home and make tea!