Monday 11 February 2013
There were four of us on this sleety unpleasant day: Mary, Linda and I had been joined by Ricky, suggesting that last week had not been all bad from a newcomer’s point of view. Against all the normal practices of the Project, we had started in the afternoon, in order to catch (pun!) the elusive 603 which, while not strictly a ‘school journeys only’ bus, runs but four times a day. But you already know that. So we had taken trains to reach the W7 and were now on board at 13.20. We were delighted to find it was a double decker, heading off from Finsbury Park to get us to Muswell Hill ready for the 603. (confused? so were we!)
Having been in Tottenham territory thus far, we were pleased to spot the Arsenal shop, but did not have to wait long. We were raced up the stairs by a charming dog belonging to a Big Issue seller, but happily she did not want the front seats so we could see all around us as we headed back along the Stroud Green Road. We are always surprised that shops can make a living just by selling party accessories; but that may just prove how attenuated our social lives are.
We also noted the Paks Wig Centre and the New Beacon Book Shop. Both these businesses focus on the Black and Asian market and so are well placed here. D’Angels is a nails and tattoos shop. In an elderly frame of mind, I thought the nails night refer to piercings, but no, they merely embellish the tips of fingers in a less permanent way that the other body art they practise.
We liked the leaping cats which embellish a Thai Restaurant, as we travelled along the boundary between Islington and Haringey and were surprised by a brightly painted house but even more surprised by some sudden high rise flats, after a lot of terrace houses.
Crossing over the disused railway which links Highgate Woods to Alexandra Park, we agreed that it was not really a day for a walk.
We came up Crouch Hill and into Crouch End. As you know by now, Linda loves a Bakery, like Dunn’s, but Crouch End is full of independent shops like this.
It also has a clock tower and the Barclays bank is decorated with some fine reliefs depicting the things banks used to support before they went in for merely supporting their own senior employees. Linda managed to capture industry, but agriculture, learning and the arts were also featured.
Scarlet Rage is a vintage clothes shop; their website says they have just opened a branch in Lewes, East Sussex, which I think tells us all something about the demographic of Crouch End. But the most amazing shop we passed today was the tiny clock and watch shop on the way into Muswell Hill. Yes, that’s it, being elbowed by Londis and the organic shop.