This morning, on my way to my coffee, I started looking at the sky. I was in this sort of mood, I suppose. Today is a beautiful winter day, cold and crisp, with a bright blue sky. While looking up, I noticed that London roofs were full of chimneystacks.
Every building has some. Apparently, during Victorian times, there was one chimney in every room, to keep everybody warm (I dread to think about how people were surviving the winter in such harsh conditions). This is because most houses were rented by the room. You could have one musician in a room, and a seamstress in another one. They probably invented flat sharing before we thought we did.
Once you notice something, you can’t help looking at it again and again. This is exactly what happened to me. And here I was, counting the stacks on each building and wondering why on earth they were kept as surely the chimneys are not in use any more. Satellite dishes were often stuck on them. Maybe that’s why we keep the stacks then? Some chimneystacks are so long that they seem to defy gravity. I hope that they are checked regularly and don’t fall on pathways from time to time. It is probably better not to think about it too much.
Chimneys used to be cleaned by young people called sweeps. It wasn’t a job for the faint-hearted.
Lost in my thoughts, looking at London’s roofs from the street, the unavoidable happened: I bumped into a lamppost. It was a solid, metallic lamppost, with a cryptic design on it.
Here I was, on a Monday morning and before my coffee, admiring London’s architecture and patting my forehead. That’s when I saw it and it made my day: the most iconic chimneystacks of London – Battersea Power station. No doubt it will be a good week...