Life and Times in NW1

When I was just 15 or so Alan Bennett got his first television series,  which aired in November and December 1966. He’d made it big in the satire boom years, beginning in the Cambridge Footlights troupe as a student, and writing a lot of their sketches for the hit stage show Beyond the Fringe, and […]

Howards End

The house in the book by EM Forster is not in London, it’s true, but some of the action is. The 1992 Merchant Ivory film, which I saw again this week,  has some wonderful London scenes in it, including Borough Market (filmed there before it was reinvented), St Pancras Station, Admiralty Arch and the Royal […]

The Caledonian Road

I don’t know the number for sure, or whether it’s still there, but in 1947 my father was storing a new born baby daughter in the top drawer of a chest of drawers in a bedsit or flat in a large Victorian house on the famous road to Scotland, in this distinctly run-down bit of […]

The Fall of Troy

Troy ruled his road for some sixteen years,  perhaps the smartest cat in that part of London for some time. When his owners went away, we often volunteered to feed him (such a good way to get to know one’s neighbours in any street) and he would come across the road and sit on our […]

Hamlet again

If Sherlock Holmes can play Hamlet, so too can Moriarty, his implacable enemy.  In fact, he – Andrew Scott – may well be better, bringing a strange, febrile Irish note to the Prince of Denmark as he falls to pieces in grief at the murder of his father and everything that follows. Now, I couldn’t […]