Every Boxing Day me, my wife and my brood devour a mountain of bubble and squeak then march virtuously down to the Hackney Empire to watch the finest pantomime in London, if not the entire world. This year it's Mother Goose and, best of all, it has God's Own Dame Clive Rowe in the title role. Oh yes it does.
It was there just after 7:00 this morning as I walked through the gloom towards Palm 2. Boris Johnson has taken pride in very few of his hire bikes being dumped or vandalised. Here was one of the few. Was it left there as an art statement? Should it be dismissed as mere arsing around? Is there a difference? I took this photo on my way back home at around 7:45 (the shopping and coffee are mine). When I went out again just after 9:00 it was gone.
There's a long story to be told about the former tramway depot at 38-40 Upper Clapton Road, just beyond the roundabout. The short version is that the Hackney Societyhas tried to save it from redevelopment, others have expressed concerns, ownership has changed hands and we'll have to wait and see exactly what happens next. What is certain is that the varied group of artists and small businesses that once occupied the Victorian sheds has had to scatter, leaving Tilley Harris and Alex Pielak to honour and display their work.
Palm 2 barista and all-purpose legend Khan is planning to transform the shop's upstairs room into a breakfast cafe on Saturdays and Sundays, open from nine until two. Sources have disclosed that this exciting new venture will get underway very soon. You read it here some time after you already knew it, probably. But I expect you're glad anyway. I know I am. See you at the Cafe on the Corner.
Walking back home from Kings Hall on Tuesday evening with two of my sons I heard from up ahead the terrible crunch of vehicles colliding, then felt that strange sensation of time seeming to stand still while passers by tried to work out what to do. Some walked on, others stood and gawped, waiting for someone else to take responsibility.