This is the snicket that I used to walk down on the way to school, until I was 11. "Snicket," because my mother comes from the Dewsbury/Ossett area of Yorkshire, and she was the one to take me down and back in my first - how long? First months there, at least. Had it been my father to take me - but of course he was always at work - it would have been a "ginnel," because he's from Leeds, all of 12 miles away. Linguistically, England is a very localized place. But it never used to have a sign on it - these have newly sprouted.
Here's the ice rink outside the Natural History Museum. I was passing en route to the Science Museum, with a Tony Ray-Jones exhibition curated by Martin Parr - plus some early Parr. Like the snicket, this was full of nostalgia: Britain in the 60s, full of monstrous large beige handbags, and women with perms in headscarfs, and people smoking, everywhere.
But the Science Museum itself was nothing like it had been in the 60s, though the powerful big turbines and pumps and general celebration of the Industrial Revolution was still there on the ground floor. There was an installation of bicycles hanging from the ceiling;
a demonstration of different strange fabrics used in the making of clothes;
and a Transparent Man full of implanted artificial body parts. Indeed, the whole emphasis was extremely high-tech (apart from the alchemy exhibit) ...