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Oh Happy Day (Elvis version):Friday 13th

The date has no negative connotations round here because it is my eldest daughter’s birthday today and she has survived at least one of those auspicious Friday birthdays already, in what is now her 9th year on earth.

A rare sight: Arsene skinning teeth

If I wondered yesterday how the time had flown by since Westmead Hawk won his last Greyhound Derby, then it is wonder cubed at the notion that Elodie Alexandra has notched up 9 years. It seems only yesterday Arsenal had won The Double and lamp post climbing was well underway on the parade on Sunday 12th May 2002 in Islington, when I went into labour. Pub in the afternoon, then caught out watching some period drama (on ITV – Aunt Finkywink!).

If I had known how long it would be before Arsene’s lot managed a single, let alone a double of anything again, I might have spent the evening up a lamp post myself.

And on the Friday, two days before that major Sunday, I had walked my last professional dog walk for some time. I say walked, Benji and I had shuffled along a hot pavement to London Fields and then very slowly perambulated across to Broadway Market and then back again. Benji was a great dog; he and I were empatico. A geriatric mongrel rescue from Battersea Dogs Home, it turned out he was on his last legs with me on that walk, and he dropped dead not longer after Elodie arrived. I walked loads of dogs in East London during that pregnancy and to this day I can point out front doors I used to go in to fetch dogs out for a walk. Sometimes I couldn’t tell you what the dog was called or even what it looked like…

Some dogs just don’t have that much presence, but Benji was right up there in that department, albeit in an understated life is hard knocks though innit? kind of way. I liked walking him and Elodie’s birthday always reminds me of him: a dead dog from Battersea Dogs Home. No wonder my Older Than She’s Ever Been daughter (aren’t we all) describes me as a Random, picked from a packet of Randoms.

Anyway, Happy Birthday Elodie xxxxxxxxx Oh, and also to Stevie Wonder (and Richard Madeley…)

The Shard SE1

When I took this photo recently I had no idea that the building is shaping up to be The Shard: the tallest building in the EU and the 45th tallest building in the world.

I was simply taken with the cranes and general construction activity and the two men working in a cradle about 100 feet up. It’s located on a very narrow street hemmed in by railway arches on the north side and Guy’s Hospital on the south; visionary indeed.

Back in the Day

Three phrases sprang to mind within a second or two of looking at this family snap recently.

Skinnin teet
Style & patten
and more pertinently, Who da Guv’nor?

Taken on the Leaside Estate, off Mount Pleasant Lane, Clapton where we (you know who you are) ended up living about twenty years after the fact. The fact being that The Guv’nor was deh pon street running tings as the sweet shop’s best customer, before hanging out at the swings.

For the London Sorority: Ian Shaw does Joni Mitchell

Here you two, remember the trips to see Ian @ the Vortex? And were either of you in da house when Seal popped in in that big old ankle-length ethnic knit? Not much by Ian on the old You Tubester, so this will have to do. Oh and don’t forget all that Heavy Metal and Folk Vinyl over the road in that second-hand record shop (what was it called?), notwithstanding the fact I found it cheaper to borrow it from the library and forget to take it back. Ever…