Drove over to the East End today for dinner with Adrian and Margaret so thought it was the perfect opportunity to pop into Klein's on my way to try to find some Krefttik. But no, even though kosher shops are *always open* on Sundays (it's a quirk of the Sunday trading laws: if you close on Saturdays for religious reasons you're allowed to treat Sunday as a normal trading day) Klein's was closed. Damn them. I stood outside and shook my fist at the sky.
Instead, and because I had loads of time to spare before my dinner, I made a short detour to Hackney where my grandmother Lily who died in 2006 lived when I was a child. I hadn't been back until earlier this year when I spoke at Hackney Limmud but I found it oddly comforting just to stand on the street outside the house, thinking about what it used to look like inside, about how it felt to be there. I took some pictures (worrying all the time that the people who live there now would come out and shout at me) and ran my hand along the rough brick wall outside: a very physical childhood memory.
Unlike some of the houses on that street, my grandmother's house hasn't been gentrified yet. This pleased me. The plants she grew in the front garden are still there, grown tall and wild. The chequered-tile front step is still there, the mouldings above the front door are still thickly coated with paint just as they were in my childhood. I hope they keep it like that.