Mrs RM has gone off to do “the big shop for presents” at Tesco, despite our not believing in Father Christmas, and will no doubt berate me for my lack of seasonal effort on her return.
So I need to crack on with these posts, now less than a week behind.
Starting with Colindale, at the top of the A5/M1 axis where leafy Hertfordshire becomes grim North-West London before suddenly becoming all Irish pubs and Turkish kebab houses in Kilburn.
You know how hard I try to sell this sceptre isle to you on this blog. With Colindale, I give up.
To be honest, I can’t even tell you where it is. Is it Barnet ? Hendon. The Hyde ? Brent ?
I tend to go by the Guide, which says NW9. I’d have asked the Tourist Office, but there isn’t one.
The highlight comes at the start, as you exit Hendon station and a view of the wondrous Midland, which was conducting some sort of enterprise in the car park. Probably Christmas trees.
Colindale is a plain and uneventful suburb* compared to Kingsbury or Wembley with their South Asian delights. Plenty of building going on; no sign of independent cafes and craft beer bars.
The Sheesha Lounge is you best bet for FUN, whatever that is.
While the camel could prove useful in the traffic jams at Brondesbury.
Pubwise, I saw the GBG Spoons. And this basic boozer that I bet Alan Winfield visited.
If you’re a fan of the early ’90s Spoons boxy shop conversion, North-West London is the place to come.
They’re very proud of their GBG19 entry.
Rather like the Spoons in suburban Liverpool or east Birmingham, this is a haven for Old Boys, with few females and fewer diners.
Despite/because of that, it feels quite pubby and retained a bit of woody character.
Guinness and Bud rule, but I saw enough cask served to feel confident about veering off the safe Doom Bar onto the risky Sambrook’s Porter. A risk of £1.65, of course.
Not much of a risk. Creamy head, cool enough, a warming NBSS 3.5 without any of the characteristic “long-pull” flavour you associate with Spoons.
The banter was great, ranging from Gazza’s balls (they’d forgot Vinnie Jones) and drug cartels in Madrid. I’d tell you more but they’d have to kill me.
So I stayed for two flat whites and the fudge brownie glop, the mini version this time (only 937 calories in a half portion).
And then I decided to walk to Kilburn. It was a duff idea.
*Though things are actually still made and people trained here, just like in Brum, so I’m not slagging it off.