Sunday, 3 February 2008
Keep the aspidistra flying
One of the gems of living in north west London is the accidental scatter of famous who have passed through and are variously commemorated or remembered. And this is one of my favourites: George Orwell.
The house he lodged in from 1934-35 is rewarded with a plaque by the Heath and Hampstead Society - but less well known is the plaque on the building in which he worked at South End Green.
The shop was Booklover's Corner, a second hand bookshop, which gave him access and company of other writers, artists and young people - as well as the access to the cheap bedsits of Parliament Hill. It was whilst staying here that he wrote most of "Keep The Aspidistra Flying".
My own favourite take on this is from a couple of years ago - I'm meeting a friend in South End Green and paused on the corner and there's a couple taking photographs of each other outside the building, then she pauses, turns to him and says (and this is totally true) "Do you think George Orwell worked in this burger store!?"!