Shrinking cabbages

 

Golborne Road intersects London’s famous Portobello Road. I practised dentistry in a clinic on Golborne Road between 1995 and 2001. In those days, Golborne was far less chic than it is today. Every day I used to pass E Price and Sons, a vegetable shop on Golborne.

The shop had a disorderly display of vegetables outside it and was run by a very old couple. I never entered their shop because it seemed to be impenetrable.

On the rare occasions that I purchased anything there, either the old lady or the old man would hurl the produce onto the scales and hardly waited to see the true weight. Then, they would mention a price, always adding the word ‘alright’, pronouncing it as if they were asking the question “is that alright?” They said the word ‘alright’ in such a way that suggested that something was not alright.

My lasting memory of this vegetable shop is of watching either of the man or woman sitting outside the shop removing withered outer leaves from the cabbages. Every day, I noticed that the cabbages on display got smaller and smaller; they seemed to be shrinking.

The shop closed a few years ago, and was later reopened by younger members of the Price family. Sadly, their lovely shop went out of business and the premises are awaiting their new reincarnation.

Ten places…

Big Ben_240

 

The Internet is full of sites listing places you must see before you die, and so on. There are also some lists of places worth missing.  All of these listings are usually subjective, as is my current list (in no particular order) of 10 or so places worth avoiding in London north of the River Thames:

1 CAMDEN TOWN

2 BRENT CROSS

3 KILBURN HIGH ROAD

4 OXFORD STREET

5 WESTFIELD AT SHEPHERDS BUSH

6 CAMDEN LOCK MARKET (OR BOROUGH MARKET)

7 PORTOBELLO ROAD ON SATURDAYS

8 COVENT GARDEN

9 KENTISH TOWN

10 WEST KENSINGTON (or KENTON)

I will not explain why any of these is on my list, and I do not expect that all of you will agree with me, but I hope that no one is offended by any of my dislikes!

Just in case this all sounds a bit negative, here is my current list (in  no particular order) of 10 or so places worth visiting in London  north of the River Thames:

1 KENWOOD HOUSE AND GARDENS

2 THE SOANE MUSEUM IN LINCOLNS INN FIELDS

3 THE VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM

4 THE BRIDGE THEATRE

5 TEMPLE CHURCH (OR ST BRIDES CHURCH)

6 LEIGHTON HOUSE

7 BRICK LANE

8 KINGS CROSS STATION CONCOURSE

9 TATE BRITAIN (but avoid eating there)

10 HIGHGATE CEMETERY (or BUNHILL FIELDS)