Cycle lane restored

When we ventured out today, it was cold. How cold? Well, when I looked at Tigger, all I could see were her eyes: the rest of her was enwrapped like an Egyptian mummy. If Tigger feels cold then you’d better watch out because that means it’s really cold! It’s the kind of weather when you wear your Covid face mask less for hygienic reasons than to keep your face warm!

Mobile phone masts
Mobile phone masts

As we passed the Doubletree Hotel in Pentonville Road, I noticed the mobile phone masts on the roof. I’ve seen them scores of times before, of course, but for some reason they caught my attention today. Some of us remember a world in which mobile phones had not even been imagined and when strip cartoon detective Dick Tracy with his radio watch was the merest fantasy. Today, though, we take our mobiles for granted and feel aggrieved if ever they fail to work. The phone masts without which they cannot function have become such a familiar feature of the skyline that we barely notice them now.

Bright sky in Myddelton Square
Bright sky in Myddelton Square

As we walked round Myddelton Square, we both noticed a strikingly bright sky above the houses and stopped to photograph it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t rendered well in a photo. A few seconds later, the clouds had shifted and the brightness disappeared.

Church and garden
Church and garden

As we passed the church, we noticed that today the door was closed. No private prayer today, then! It was lucky that we had visited the church when it was open.

Still a pretty sight
Still a pretty sight

We turned into Chadwell Street where I have photographed this garden hedge before. It continues to present a cheerful sight with colourful berries and some white roses still in flower. Later, we even spotted a bee flying around, surely testimony to the strangeness of the weather owing to climate change.

Chadwell Street
Chadwell Street

Chadwell Street is quiet mainly because there is no access for motor vehicles from the main road. The only traffic allowed, except for access from Myddelton Square, is bicycles and pedestrians. It was here that in a previous post I photographed road works where a big hole was being dug. That work is finished and men, machines and barriers have departed.

The repair site
The repair site

The hole had been filled in but there is a detail that amused me. The work had temporarily blocked the official cycle path and cut off part of this cycle symbol. Someone has tried to restore it.

Restoration work
Restoration work

I somehow think this was done by someone other than the official sign painters. The rear wheel is rather lumpy and doesn’t share the same perspective as the front wheel. Still, it’s a reasonable attempt and I don’t think I could do any better!

Man at arms
Man at arms

When we pass the undertaker’s, I always look up at the balcony to see whether the armoured warrior is still there.

Closer view
Closer view

And he always is, standing guard with his lance and pennant in all weathers. Who does he represent and why is he there? I have no idea.

The milliner’s shop
The milliner’s shop

In Arlington Way is a milliner’s shop. There are still such shops to be found but I think their numbers are dwindling. Having to close during lockdown can’t be helping them to survive. What occurred to me, however, was to wonder where the word “milliner” comes from. How is it to related to the making of hats?

The word appears English in the 16th century. It originally designated a merchant from the Italian city of Milan, a city known for the manufacture of fancy goods for women. The word gradually came to be applied more generally to retailers of women’s clothes and latterly hats. For more details, see here.

A casualty in Myddelton Passage
A casualty in Myddelton Passage

In Myddelton Passage, we noticed a casualty. See it on the pavement on the right.

The casualty
The casualty

One of the trees has been cut down, leaving just a stump. The rest of the tree has been removed and even the sawdust has been cleared away, so this is not criminal arboricide but an official action. Perhaps you can see that there are a lot of fungi on the stump, so perhaps the tree was diseased and had to be removed in order not to infect the others. Even so, I feel sorry for the poor thing. Perhaps I’m becoming soft in my old age but I like trees and appreciate those growing in our neighbourhood and hate to see them diseased or damaged. I hope this one will be replaced and that its successor will thrive.

Black cabs are feeling the strain
Black cabs are feeling the strain

There had been a London black cab in Myddelton Passage and it drove off as we left. This reminded me of something I read recently, namely that because of the pandemic, the taxi trade has fallen off badly, so much so that taxi companies have had to take many cabs out of service and find places to park them, even in fields. Some cabbies who own their own cabs have felt obliged to sell them in order to make some money to tide themselves over the crisis.

I rarely travel by taxi but I certainly sympathise with the predicament that cabbies find themselves in, along with practically the whole of the business sector. Let’s hope that with sensible behaviour and the long-hoped-for vaccine, we can turn the situation round and restore some sort of normality for everybody.

If you want to know something about the cab driver’s view of the world, you might like to take a look at Cabbieblog.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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