...is a large, derelict Victorian building. Its courtyard is separated from the Tottenham street by a high barrier, part-overgrown with even higher fireweed. It's for sale, although the estate agents sign is smashed. There always seems to be an accident or a fuss going on around it: a broken down bus, someone shouting, an ambulance accelerating off towards Wood Green. I once saw a Harley Davidson spread across the tarmac in separate silvery parts, it had been hit by a delivery van; there was a biker standing on the pavement and watching the debris, scratching his chin.
I zip past the house on a bike most days, and at a certain point I began to notice a blue heritage plaque on the wall. The other week I finally stopped to read it:
Luke Howard gave us a taxonomy of clouds. He had the idea of giving them double-barrelled names because they're subject to such quick changes (cumulus and stratus in mid-metamorphosis becomes cumulo-stratus). I like the plaque's slightly ambiguous wording though: he was a namer of clouds. As if his hobby was to christen them, one by one, like children, as he looked out of his window.
There was a giant's causeway of cirro-cumulus clouds early this morning, pointing off past Bruce Grove and on to the west, the direction I was heading in: I was going to navigate by them, take new backstreets to get away from the traffic. But then I thought, who navigates by clouds?