Jump In Cafe, Holloway Road N19

Bacon sandwich and a coffee. White sliced bread. The bacon fat is nice and crispy at the edges and the sandwich as a whole has just the right amount of moisture.The coffee is very good, strong with a slight aroma of a sweaty Venezuelan female salsa instructor. They lock the door after I've sat down, perhaps to give the impression that this is an exclusive venue. Various Michael Jackson songs are playing, one of which – 'Off the Wall' – was  written by Rod Temperton, who went to the same school as me, though a decade or so earlier. I think it's about scrumping apples from the headmaster's garden, though Jacko de-emphasises that aspect of the lyrics in his interpretation.

Talking with The Dog People

While the numbers of Dog People frequenting Clissold Park has grown enormously over the past few years, one of the things that hasn't changed is their inability to 'see' normal humans. I have always been able to walk amongst them, seemingly invisible, without so much as a glance. I could have marched into the middle of a group of them and emptied a bag of Winalot on their heads and they wouldn't have noticed.

This week, because  our neighbour is poorly, I've been walking her dog most days (breed? Er, it's a little brown dog that looks uncannily like Robin Smith the late Labour MP)  and today we ventured into the park. I wasn't in twenty seconds when two Dog People approached me, smiling in a strange friendly way.
"Hello!" one of them said. Was she talking to me? I must have looked startled.
"He looks like he needs a good run!" beamed her friend.
"Aren't you going to let him off his lead?"
"He's very friendly!"

Their eye contact was unbearably intense. I didn't dare let him run free yet, I said. But if I let go of the lead perhaps I would become invisible again. Most likely the effects of the dog wear off over time. Luckily I was pushing a pram with the other hand and my son was able to get me out of danger by crying. 

The Liquorice Tree

Between two smallish trees in Clissold Park there is a long length of red twine that somebody (conceptual nature artist or mischievous kitten with a ball of wool) has wrapped round and round many times. It's saying "we are connected in ways that we don't fully understand". It's also saying "imagine a world where red licorice grows from the trees. Yum!" It might also be an advert for the wool shop on Blackstock Road. Or perhaps it's saying "look how fragile is mortality" or "look how fragile is the Arsenal back four when a ball is played over the top".