Tuesday, August 14, 2012

7 Bruce Grove

...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?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

fair enough Alistair but when are The Clientele touring back in Boston MA, USA? When will there be a new album and when will you go back to using the lo-fi production with ghostly vocals and watery reverb production I miss so much from a Fading Summer and Suburban Light?

Anonymous said...

fair enough Alistair but when are The Clientele touring back in Boston MA, USA? When will there be a new album and when will you go back to using the lo-fi production with ghostly vocals and watery reverb production I miss so much from a Fading Summer and Suburban Light?

Anonymous said...

<3

Love you guys

Anonymous said...

Alisdair - clearly your penchant for keen observation and wit has not been dulled by what I only hope is a pause in the Clientele's ongoing story.

Waiting with baited breath for the next installment from the best pop band of the 2000s by a longshot.

In the meantime, The Clientele's catalogue remains on almost permanent rotation on my various listening devices, and never gets old...

Cheers
Scott
Montreal, Canada

Timothy palmer said...

PleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePleasePlease Post the tabs for dreams of leaving! somewhere on the internet, I cant find them anywhere

Anonymous said...

When K Got Over Me is one of my favorite songs of all time. So soulful and evocative. Had to say that. good luck!

dennis said...

Alistair- what a funny coincidence- we just heard on national public radio USA the other day about this very same guy, the cloud classifier, as part of their story on the British cloud appreciation society. Apparently there has been a new type of cloud seen at different places around the globe, its been recently named, and the society wants to add it to the official log book of cloud formations, which was first compiled by the cloud classifier himself at 7 bruce grove. He is a hero among meteorologists. But you, like many of us, must wonder.. what do the clouds say?

Alasdair said...

Dennis - that's amazing. The British cloud appreciation society sounds like something from a Pynchon novel but they're real! going to follow them from now on: http://cloudappreciationsociety.org/