Esoteric London

No. 1082: Birstall Road, N15

Posted in Graffiti, Meteorological by esotericlondon on April 22, 2014

©RogerDean_RED_8787 copy

Birstall Road, London, N15. Photo ©RogerDean 2014

Dickens’s Dictionary of London, An Unconventional Handbook – Charles Dickens, 1882:

Fogs are, no doubt, not peculiar to London. Even Paris itself can occasionally turn out very respectable work in this way, and the American visitor to England will very probably think, in passing the banks of Newfoundland, that he has very little to learn on the subject of fog. But what Mr. Guppy called “a London particular,” and what is more usually known to the natives as “a peasouper,” will very speedily dispel any little hallucination of this sort. As the east wind brings up the exhalations of the Essex and Kentish marshes, and as the damp-laden winter air prevents the dispersion of the partly consumed carbon from hundreds of thousands of chimneys, the strangest atmospheric compound known to science fills the valley of the Thames. At such times almost all the senses have their share of trouble. Not only does a strange and worse than Cimmerian darkness hide familiar landmarks from the sight, but the taste and sense of smell are offended by an unhallowed compound of flavours, and all things become greasy and clammy to the touch. During the continuance of a real London fog—which may be black, or grey, or more probably orange-coloured—the happiest man is he who can stay at home. But if business — there is no such thing as out-door pleasure during the continuance of a London fog—should compel a sally into the streets, one caution should be carefully observed. Mr. Catlin, well known for his connection with the Indian tribes of North America, once promulgated in print a theory, that a royal road to long life was, sleeping or waking, to keep the mouth as much as possible closed. This advice, whatever its value may be generally, should always be followed when a London fog has to be encountered

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