This is perhaps my favorite shopfront in London. It's just such a wreck. I first photographed it way back in 2011, sure that I was capturing a historic element of the city's retail scene that would no doubt be quickly gentrified into an espresso bar or yoga-wear shop. But no! Yesterday I revisited it and took some more photos, and when you compare them to the shot from nine years ago they look almost exactly the same.
A glance in the shop's front window isn't any more promising. Can you see how thick that layer of dust is, covering the sun-rotten books and the bizarre hand, with a googly-eyed creature on the pinky finger?
However, apparently this really is a functioning business, selling fishing tackle. It happened to be closed when I visited (I guess "try Saturday" doesn't work in the age of coronavirus), but there was a jumble of cardboard boxes stacked inside, appearing to contain stock newer than anything in the window. It looks like the kind of place where opening hours and the location of any particular item are known only to the proprietor -- a place where the world functions entirely according to his (and I'm sure it's his) whims.
I did not take the dog on this walk. It's hard to take pictures when I've got her dragging me hither and yon. But after a couple of hours of walking I was back home again, and I grabbed her and took her to the cemetery -- so she got her outing too.
Our neighbor, the older Eastern European lady who makes all her own clothes, was out and about in a shimmering blue quilted dress that was really something to behold. In the bright sunlight she looked positively incandescent. She's clearly made her own face mask, too -- don't you love the daisies? (I asked her for a picture and she happily obliged. Photos of some of her other outfits are at the top of this post and here.)
Big news -- I finished "City on Fire" yesterday! All 900 pages. Whew! I enjoyed the writing, but I gotta say, I think the book is just too long. Very few writers, no matter how good, can successfully bring a reader on such a sustained journey -- Tolstoy being possibly the only exception. "City on Fire" wasn't unsuccessful -- it's richly written and the plot has momentum, and were I the editor I'm honestly not sure what I would cut to make it shorter -- but I felt a kind of emotional distance from the characters, which I attribute to fatigue!