Brick Lane. Nothing says London better. Take a wonderful sunny day and then you’ve nailed it. Dive in because tomorrow is another day, as they say, and then it could all be so very different cos I remember the days of burnt-out buildings and tatty collectables laid out on blankets asking for best price.
Spitalfields market is a bit commercial these days though it is still the best in London. Installation artwork challenges: it’s not always frivolous make-believe but a real attempt to engage. And somewhere caged in glass are the remains of a twelfth century crypt just to remind you that this is one of the oldest parts of London.
Who wouldn’t want one of those silk weavers houses in Spitalfields? Tour guides lead their ducklings around the back streets and we hear pips of history. A film crew has set up shop and – of course! – the actors are dressed in eighteenth century garb.
In the heat haze of a lazy Sunday, Brick lane can sometimes feel like a souk. It suffocates – but sure does deliver. No other place in London is like Brick lane. It serves itself up on a platter and we gorge on it. Everyone does. Pilgrims are made from this.
A hipster walks by.
And those socks!
A red chook in a window signals the end of our trek. Arnold Circus, that wonderful almost Germanic-style council housing from the turn of the twentieth century, has found favour. Transformation is almost complete.