London’s ancient heart has crawled under the floorboards and died…
The Tenant, Paramount Pictures, 1976
From The New Statesman:
As a friend of mine, new to parenthood, once said in a tone of maximal outrage, when he found out how much a wooden Duplo train cost (not the set; just a train carriage): “I could get sucked off for that!”
Once again I have to accept that one of the prices of living in a swish part of town is that you will not find a takeaway that will give you a stomach-bursting portion of ho fun noodles for under a fiver.
So, off I go to the pub, to see my friend Toby-Who-Is-Not-Toby-Young-How-Many-Times-Do-I-Have-To-Repeat-This?, for a catch-up and a chuckle over the latest Viz. This is all very pleasant but, as I make my way back to the Hovel from Edgware Road Station, I am accosted from the other side of the road by Darren, the manager of the Duke, where I used to go a lot when I had funds.
It is now past closing time but he pours me a whisky and tells me the news: the leaseholder plans to shut the place down and replace it with luxury flats – as if there were any other kind here these days. This, despite the Duke making money hand over fist.
And I think of the bank and the poncey restaurant and all the shit buildings that are going up all over the place and all the rest of it – and I know what has crawled under my floorboards and died. It’s London’s ancient heart.