Look up when you are walking around London, and you sometimes get quite a surprise.
You can see what I mean.
But where is it?
And a little bit of a clue - if you think the brickwork in the background suggests railways, well, you could be right.
So who's on track to get this one?
The classic political badge
In the year of Jubilee, a classic - if controversial - badge from an earlier Jubilee is back on the market.
And this isn't a reissue. A cache of fifty of these 1977 badges, one of the most celebrated of political badges, has been unearthed and put on sale - at a fiver a time.
A bargain - given that one of the originals was sold recently on eBay for a staggering £44.63!
The designer was Sherrl Yanowitz. Her first badge design - and in the end they shifted more than 40,000.
Top o' the Morning
My first serious cycle ride of the year this morning. An hour criss-crossing around Dartmouth Park Hill, Highgate and Hampstead Heath - rewarded by a magnificent view from the top of the Heath, near Jack Straw's Castle
The ride has four significant climbs - two of which I can manage (three on a good day, which today wasn't). I've never managed to get all the way up Swains Lane without getting off to push - it simply a matter of whether I can get as far as the entrance to Highgate cemetery.
The heath is enchanting in the morning sun - and this morning, I was rewarded with a wwonderful view of a cormorant on a pole in the middle of one of the ponds.
Platform 9 3/4
A cute touch at the new Kings Cross concourse - the most famous station platform in the world. Complete with excited youngsters keen to be photographed on their way to Hogwarts.
Who says that developers / architects / train companies don't have a sense of humour!
How long before someone nicks the platform sign?
The Alchemy of visas
To the South Bank's Alchemy festival on Sunday - a celebration of South Asian culture, with a Bollywood dance teach-in (phenomenally popular), and food stalls which sell the sort of stuff you wish Indian restaurants would.
Between us, we managed a papri chaat, a chole bhatura and a masala dosa. Grand!
The craft exhibits in the Royal Festival Hall were greatly depleted however, thanks to HMG. Seven of the stalls - that's more than half the total - had notes saying that the artists had been 'delayed due to visa'.
Alchemy is now approaching its half-way mark, so I suspect these guys are never going to make it to the South Bank. A pity!
The 'White Heat' of Tufnell Park
Will Paula Milne's TV drama 'White Heat' do for Tufnell Park what the televising of White Teeth did for Cricklewood and Willesden? Not so much make it chic and fashionable, but at least give it a toehold on the rim of modern British culture.
Milne's story about a group of sixties students who share a house in Tufnell Park, their young lives interlaced with the present day as they gather to mourn one of their number, is a wonderful piece of mythmaking about the '60s - the sex, politics, music and sense of opportunity. (Has White Heat Got the 1960s Right?, the Guardian asked). It's also about the first time Tufnell Park has made its mark in popular culture since ... no, it's simply the first time.
Tufnell Park's absence from public consciousness is all the more remarkable given the number of media types who live on the streets either side of Tufnell Park Road (the main drag is more resistant to gentrification, and still largely bedsit land). The wiki article on Tufnell Park has a list of luvvies and the like which puts the area almost on a par with Primrose Hill and Maida Vale.
But the entry is also reduced to commenting that 'the shabby genteel reputation of Tufnell Park made it a standard comic reference in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries'. Thanks a lot! And its claims for Tufnell Park's cultural footprint are wildly exaggerated - there is certainly no hard evidence to place Mr "Nobody" Pooter on the TP side of north London's railway tracks.
So, where in Tufnell Park is the 'White Heat' house? And where were the exterior scenes shot? Asking this morning at the Tufnell Park farmers' market (another sign that the area is making it - there's even 'Tufnell Park honey' ice cream on sale, a bit like Tupelo honey minus van Morrison), I was told that some filming was done by the side of the Tufnell Park playing fields ... and that the location manager lives locally and had been buying baguettes and broccoli and stuff a few moments earlier.
Anyone able to supply more details?
And while we're at it, can someone explain the denouement? The phone rang just as Orla's safe was being unlocked, and when next I turned to the TV the gang were all swearing to meet again soon, and - moist eyes, firm handsakes, and feline hugs - heading off in the direction of Tufnell Park tube, or Flavours deli or wherever.
LATER: a browser comments - Exterior shots are of a house in Avenue Park Road, Tulse Hill. Yours for 1.6 million: http://www.foxtons.co.uk/property-for-sale-in-west-norwood/chpk0654891. Can it be true? Even in its fifteen seconds of fame, Tufnell Park is eclipsed by, of all places, Tulse Hill!
Ashvin Kumar's 'Inshallah, Football' is an engrossing and powerfully told documentary film about contemporary Kashmir.
Its focus is a young Kashmiri footballer, Basharat, who is deemed good enough to play in Brazil ... but can't get an Indian passport, because his father was a leading militant in his youth.
The film takes in everything from the routine torture of young Kashmiris in the 1990s, to dating Kashmiri-style in (if I've got this right) the Arabica coffee bar at the Broadway hotel. The story is about the misery of contemporary Kashmir - but it also takes in the remarkable story of Bashir Baba, Basharat's father, who was a key Hizbul militant, was caught and tortured, and is now both a prominent Kashmiri businessman and reconciled to his torturer ... and the Argentinian-Brazilian couple, Juan and Priscla, who settled in Srinagar, set up a football academy, and became inspirations to dozens of young Kashmiris.
The film ends with Basharat getting his passport and waiting for his visa for Brazil, but the soccer academy threatened with closure because its founders' Indian visas are not being renewed. That was in late 2009. So what's happened since? Well, from a brief tour round the internet: the good news - Juan and Priscla are still in Kashmir and their soccer academy appears to be going strong; on the other hand, to judge by his Facebook page, Basharat is not in Sao Paulo these days but still in Srinagar.
I suppose that's a score draw - a better result than Kashmir usually gets.
LATER: I've now heard that Basharat did get to Brazil. By the time his visa came through, he was apparently too old to go as a player, but he went there for a few months last year to train as a coach. So the story has a happy ending for Basharat.
But less so for Juan and his soccer academy in Kashmir. There have been moves to impose a ban on his activities - this recent article from the Greater Kashmir newspaper explains more.
Towards Gallions Reach
To the farthest reaches of Docklands in the past week - and the University of East London's Docklands campus. It lies well beyond Canning Town, not far off Beckton. A windswept spot on the north side of the vast Royal Albert Dock, which opened in 1880 - with a full three miles of quays - and closed about a century later.
The photo above, taken from the campus and looking west and south, shows the old Silvertown Tate and Lyle plant (there's a close-up below), the focus of a marvellous piece of oral history The Sugar Girls, and to its right, City Airport, also on the south side of the Albert dock. In the distance you can just make out the Dome and the towers of Canary Wharf.
UEL's campus is adjoining the Cyprus station on the Docklands Light Railway. I was told that the station was named after the Cyprus dock. Not quite.
The station took its name from a Victorian housing estate, the Cyprus estate, built for workers at the Royal Albert Dock, and in turn named after Britain's acquisition of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus in 1878.
These pages from a 1917 London street map - with a close-up above - show just how isolated the Cyprus estate must have been. Even thirty years after the docks opened, it was a few streets in the middle of nowhere. The dock opened into the Thames at Gallions, and Gallions Reach is the name of a DLR station lying between Cyprus and Beckton, the end of the line.
To Leyton tonight, to see my old team Huddersfield Town - the first time I've seen them in a League match for decades.
And a chance to watch their wonder striker, Jordan Rhodes. He scored twice in a 3-1 win for Town over Leyton Orient - a better score line than they deserved. And Rhodes is certainly good, hard working and with great finishing. But not quite a van Persie.
Good to see Huddersfield. Great to see them win. But they are a long way short of being a shoe-in for promotion to the Championship.
The first football match I ever saw was at Huddersfield's old Leeds Road home back in, I guess, 1965 take a year or two either way. The visitors - Leyton Orient. And as far as I can remember, Town won then too!
Not quite what you might expect at Tufnell Park tube. But somewhere lurking at the barrier, or in the ticket office, there's a real poetry enthusiast.
And rather than 'good service on the northern line', we get something much more lyrical.
Today's verse is by Jehane Markham - and not her best known poem at that. The previous offering was Rupert Brooke. You know the: 'If I should die, think only this of me ...' one.
So there's a wonderful range of material. And at greater length than those ultra short Poems on the Underground which sometimes appear in ad spaces in the tube carriages. (Though I like those too!)
And there's some lovely bits of whimsy too. So last week I spotted this touch of Christian propaganda - 'Ten Ways to Love' based on extracts from the Bible. For more on this, here's a link.
And while I'm not keen on Scripture, as aphorisms most of these are on the 'upbeat' side of unexceptional. Indeed, I think I'll encourage my kids to look, read and inwardly digest. "Answer without Arguing" - indeed!
Whoever is behind Tufnell Park's 'Poetry Korner' is a public benefactor. God knows, the area needs a few. And, to cite Philippians, I do trust the authorities will "Enjoy without Complaint".
Andrew Whitehead's blog
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