Late Life Crisis - January 2020

Veganism rules. I have noticed that in various North London pubs that promote Sunday Roast, it is often the vegan option that runs out first. Later last Sunday there was no chance to enjoy the Spinach and Feta Wellington, aka Beef Wellington without the beef. 

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Another sign of the times. Local independent traders in my area are rising up against a Council proposal to prohibit cars from driving through the centre during peak traffic hours and to close off access from main roads to side roads. It was mentioned to me by my dry cleaners, who of course have a close interest as schlepping bulky items down for cleaning is a little more convenient if you can use a car and park nearby. But what alarmed the chap I spoke to was that the large majority of people to whom he has spoken are supportive of the plans. 

I suspect that the above reflects the demographic of a large part of the local population being sub-35 and pretty high on the woke scale. These are the same people who would support vital local independent services such as the vegan cafe and the retro fashion shop. In the meantime any road in the area with trees is likely to be an end to end trip hazard, with roots exploding through the pavements. However, perhaps we are lucky to have trees.

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On the subject of foliage, I overheard two Americans talking on a train. Evidently they were both here on secondment. One of them remarked to the other that he was recommended to head to Newington Green to look for rented accommodation, but was disappointed to see that there was very little green at Newington Green. Thank goodness he didn't try Wood Green. 

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For some there is still a hankering for the past, and maybe the iconic Routemaster bus is a symbol of what was once good about London. Could we not go back to an On the Buses world, with cheerful chappie driver Reg Varney guiding us through the traffic (although today we would need a little more diversity in the make-up of the team)? 

This all came to me as I was watching the beginning of the Lord Mayor's Show in November. A Routemaster was part of the procession, and idled to a halt near to where I was standing with a number of friends. As happens at these events, there are occasional hold-ups. After a few minutes the stench of carbon monoxide from the bus was more then even the most hardened traditionalist could take, and thankfully someone got the driver to turn off the engine.

I appreciate that environment issues have moved on and that Co2 emissions have dropped dramatically, but it still makes you think. Any voters for the good old days when we still had pea-soupers?

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