The big Sainsbury supermarket on Edgware Road has a film about its colossal redevelopment running in the entrance space. They are currently putting in the foundations for a massive new store, with several tower blocks above it, on what used to be the car park.
This is a new model. Instead of presuming that customers will drive to the store from some distance away and load up their cars in a big shop, I guess the calculation is that if you have several thousand people living right above the store, they will just have to pop downstairs in the lift whenever they need anything. Presumably they will also make a fortune in rent or sales, while keeping the Freehold.
Once phase 1 is complete and the new store opened, the current shop will be demolished to make way for even more tower blocks and what looks like one of those corporate “green spaces” in the middle, that could be a nice park for the kids to play in (sheltered from the road) or might just be a dead zone with the sort of barrier vegetation that encourages people to post their beer bottles in it.
I guess we’ll see. But, perhaps not. The final date for completion is 2032. I found myself wondering if I would see it finished. Partly because I’d be 78 by then, so might not get that far, and partly because the rate climate breakdown is accelerating and the cold war hotting up, we might not make it that far.
Just up the road, a newly developing block of flats is named “Holocene Court”. The Holocene is the name of the peculiarly stable climactic period that allowed human civilisation to develop. The impact of human activity on the climate and rock strata formation – with global construction activity now shifting more materials than water erosion – means that we are now in the “Anthropocene”; an era defined by our capacity to build and sow the seeds of our own destruction all at once. Self immolation through self apotheosis.
If you could see the things I see, when I’m delivering leaflets.
The note attached to No 7 in a nearby road. “Do not leave parcels with No 6” can’t help but make you wonder what’s happened there.
Outside another nearby flat, the doormat reads; “The neighbours have better stuff”.
On one side of another front door a faded Jesus poster, looking a lot like Conchita Wurst; on the other a sign asking for visitors to “disinfect before delivery”. Faith and science in balance.
And at the local shops
A teenage schoolgirl arguing on her mobile in Boots keeps exclaiming “Suck my left foot!” New one on me.
A metallic orange SUV – looking as though it is made out of cheap, brittle plastic; so really expensive and kinda cheap at the same time – turns into Church Lane. Its number plate reads “MR 1 4 FUN”. Hmmm.