Monday, 23 July 2012

Crowds are good - if you keep moving, open spaces are good ...

talking in the street is ok - if you have to...

Great success! I've finally worked out the location of the spy training scene from the Russia House - its in Symons Street London - a street that runs alongside the Peter Jones store in Knightsbridge.  The quest to identify this scene has been a long one.  In the film, Ned is seen waiting inside the doorway of a butcher's shop, whose name is visible on the shop window - Cobb of Knightsbridge.

  A search on the internet for that company will tell you that there was a butchers of that name, latterly part of the Dewhurst chain which is no more, and their last known address was Clifton Road in Maida Vale.  From a quick look on Google Streetview, it is clear that Clifton Road is not the location of this scene.  I'd almost given up trying to identify the street, when I spotted a Cobb of Knightsbridge model delivery van on Ebay.  On the van's livery, it is almost possible to read the original address - Symons Street.  As you can see from the above photo, this street has changed quite a lot over the last 20 odd years - gone are all the original shops: a dry cleaners, buthers, tile shop, wine merchant; all to be replaced by The White Company which seems to occupy all the premises on this side of the street.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

A large unmade bed

I look like a large, unmade bed - with a shopping bag attached

Today, I bought a red gingham shirt. Why? Is it fashionable? Do I particularly like the style? Is it because I wish to adopt the dress codes of certain age groups or social classes?  No.  My enduring obsession with The Russia House compelled me to don some of the attire of the film's leading character - Barley Scott Blair.  Not the full outfit, as seen here, but just a hint to acknowledge the continuing influence of the Russia House on my life - a kind of badge of allegiance to the underground band of fellow Russia House obsessives, or perhaps simply a sign of a deluded fantasist, donning the attire to slip into the role, to become the character ,  to live and breath the role for just a second or two. Like Mr Ben.  I was the same back in he early 90s whenever I wore my grey double breasted suit, like the character played by James Fox in the film.  As soon as the buttons were fastened, I was like "hello, my name's Ned, I'm from British Intelligence ..." .  My "Nedsky" suit is long gone, double breasted suits fell out of fashion.  Now, if only Marksies did those linen suits in more of a brown colour.