Monthly Archives: March 2009

Enfield Chase


Valentine’s Day – champagne, chocolates, a single perfect rose, candlelit dinner à deux – or a tube trip to Cockfosters to explore the London Borough of Enfield with Mondoagogo

No contest!

I know virtually nothing about Enfield, so this was a true voyage of discovery. Mondo suggested a visit to the Museum of Domestic Architecture and Forty Hall, and with no suggestions of our own, Molecule Man and I were happy to go along with this.

We took the Piccadilly Line to Cockfosters Station – a rather lovely synthesis of concrete and brick, with a Hopperesque diner.


station diner

A small parade of shops had a great array of lettering and signage – a bit of an obsession for all of us, while a potentially dull call centre along the main road redeemed itself with a graceful curve, making a surprisingly fetching photograph.

Oh you

Cockfosters Call Centre

The entrance to the Museum of Domestic Architecture was slightly tricky to find, but this small museum is well worth a visit. One of the things I love about museums with a 20th Century emphasis is the potential to bring back memories – “my mum had one of those…” But my favourite photographs from the museum were abstracts of the fixtures of the museum itself.

Light at MODA

Next, we hopped on a double-decker to make the trip to Forty Hall – like something out of a Jane Austen novel transplanted into suburban North London. It boasted some wonderfully ugly carvings, and engaging displays of 20th century childhood pursuits, advertising ephemera, ceramics of variable quality and assorted kitschy tat.

Forty Hall

The Borough of Haringey was on our February Borough Challenge list, so we got a bus to Wood Green, changing at Enfield Town. It was a bit dark by the time we got there, so I’d like to go back for a more comprehensive photo-stroll, but I managed to grab a few shots of the tube station, and got mildly admonished for my pains by a London Transport employee.

Wood Green
Wood Green Tube Station

Finally, we got the tube back to Central London. Soho was heaving with romantically-inclined couples – we had entirely forgotten it was Valentine’s Night. We found a table at Café Em’s, decked out with primly closed daffodil buds and heart-shaped balloons with an unfortunate resemblance to comedy breasts.

So all in all, an interesting jaunt for Valentine’s Day – but I’m still waiting for my flowers and chocolate.


London Borough Challenge

One of my favorite flickr groups is London by Londoners. As its name implies, it is confined to those who live or have lived in London, and it attracts many of London’s best flickr photographers.

A recent discussion in the group suggested a challenge to photograph the 32 Boroughs of London and the City of London within the space of a year:

London Borough Map

February – Camden, Haringey, Enfield
March – Islington, Hackney, Waltham Forest
April – Tower Hamlets, Newham, Redbridge
May – City, Barking, Havering
June – Greenwich, Bexley, Bromley
July – Southwark, Lewisham, Croydon
August – Lambeth, Merton, Sutton
September – Wandsworth, Kingston, Richmond
October – Hammersmith, Hounslow, Hillingdon
November – Kensington and Chelsea, Ealing, Harrow
December – Westminster, Brent, Barnet.

Disappointingly few have taken up the challenge, but I enjoy having a framework to encourage me to get up and explore parts of my city I’ve never seen. I may change the order around in coming months, but in February, I tackled Camden, Haringey and Enfield, and in March, I’ve visited Islington and Hackney and have a few more days to hit Waltham Forest.

I will be using this blog to chronicle my travels.