Saturday, 11 October 2008

Blackstock Road

I've never really got into hardwear shops, the smell of steel wool sets my teeth on edge. However when I need to get keys cut, or find a power tool, or maybe even a plant pot, 13 amp fuse or a mousetrap, I go to:

Down the hill and just beyond the T-Bird Bar lies one of the most sweetly named streets in London. This street always gives me pause for thought. Is it named after a local debutante called Vivian Comma? Is it longhand for 'Vivian, Close'? Why is Vivian Close? Could it be a warning - or an enticement - or both?

The elegant capitals of the local stationary store are also a lure. I have a fondness for establishments with serendipitous names, such as 'Reeves and Pain' (surely Wreaths and Pain?) the Funeral Directors in Oxford. But 'Fish and Cook' is appealing because the proprietors' names seem well-matched to each other - if not to the world of lead pencils and scotch tape.

As for the real cooks, you will find them at the Happening Bagel Bakery, round the corner, past the 'TAKE COURAGE' beer sign hanging on the pub, but that's another story...

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