Its raining. This is a first for my Barbican visits but not wishing to be a fair weather blogger, I’ve braved it. I’m wearing shoes for once rather than trainers and they are making a satisfying clunk as I walk from the station to the Barbican Centre across the High Walk Way. There is an exhibition on in the foyer detailing the City Of London’s development plans for the area and I’m left hoping that they will leave the feel of the place alone. So much of London is being smartened up which somehow seems to sweep away some of the charm.
I haven’t written much about the books I borrowed last time. I’m in the throes of writing reports and thinking of comments for music and computer studies for over two hundred children has left me weary. I’ve renewed one of my books which I will write about in the future.
The Library is quite busy but most of the noise is from half term visitors in the spaces below. One older man in the Music Library is tapping his foot loudly to the music he is listening to on headphones. Every so often he shouts out as if something is wrong. No one bats an eyelid. In the London Collection a man suddenly takes off his boots and his socks as if they have suddenly become too much for him. I become intent on looking at the books on the shelf. I notice him put his jacket over his lap. I’m wondering if he might strip further. I pick up a book called London Stories from 1926 and make a hasty retreat.
Outside is still grey but it has stopped raining. The Laundrette is empty as I pass today. A sign on the wall points out that due to the climate change tax, drying times have been made shorter. I pass the Greengrocers and look at his plants. A Geranium for £1.90 is good value but I don’t want to carry it. Clerkenwell is busy and I notice queues at all the sandwich shops. There is a queue out of the butchers door too. I’d buy something but I never know what to ask for. The shops are displaying signs for the Clerkenwell Road design weeks and there are many shops taking part. I notice a Watch Shop that repairs, and sells old watches. I look through the window and wonder who will run these shops when the craftsmen retire.
I notice a building I haven’t seen before. The writing says The Printworks No. 84 and I make a note to find out more about it. I pass a girl smoking outside a door and when she moves I notice a sign saying Met Office. I scowl at them as if they have something to do with the weather we are getting rather than being messengers reporting the inevitable. I’m tired today and when I buy the paper from a Sainsbury’s Local I find the question “Have you a Nectar Card” too hard to answer. It’s not going to be a long trip today.
And then I see it. The Umbrella shop. I love the sign. Jas. short for James. Like texting. Nothings new. I find it amazing that these old businesses survive. Lets hope that the changes at Tottenham Court Road don’t spread down New Oxford Street and sweep it away. Nothing is safe when the planners get going. Denmark Street is tottering on the edge of destruction.
I buy some Pure Fruit Seville Orange spread and some Caraway Seeds in Planet Organic and call it a day. I descend in the Lift at Goodge Street and concentrate more this week as I headed in the wrong direct last time. Goodge Street…..the mind is off again as I have more questions to investigate, but that’s for another day.Of course their is a song in my head as I rattle down the track
Tooma looma looma Tooma looma lomma Toodle eye aye.
Any Umbrellas Any Umbrellas to fix today?