Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Morning Star sighted in Edgware

Venus, the 'morning star'
Helen Michael, North Finchley traders champion, has a nice guest post on the Barnet Eye blog, talking about, among other things, the importance of local high street shops. (I won't give you the link, or you'll be off there before you've read this. I am sure you know how to find it!)

Yesterday, I was inspired by watching the Olympics to walk all the way to Edgware instead of catching the bus - well, the Olympics can inspire the middle-aged generation, not just the youth.

It started to tip down just as I reached the anonymous looking point in the road where Burnt Oak Broadway turns into High Street, Edgware. This happens on a tiny bridge over the tiny Edgware Brook - a tributary of the pretty small Silk Stream (which flows into the modest Brent River, which flows into the mighty Thames).

This bridge is the historic Edgware Bridge. Now, how do I know all this colourful local knowledge? Well, I had to scour the internet, but I found this great website, http://middlesexcountycouncil.org.uk, by a guy called Nick Papadimitriou, full of forensic detail about bridges and streams in our area. Do consult it if you ever catch yourself wondering about 'that little stretch of river' in the west of the borough!

Anyway, back to yesterday's walk. I sheltered from the sustained cloudburst in the doorway of a washing-machine repair shop. The proprietor was on emergency callout, according to the post-it note on the front door - or he might have chased me away and into the path of the cars driving through now monstrous puddles.

The rain did not look like easing, so I side-stepped to the cafe next door, the Estrela da Manhã - which is Portuguese for "morning star".

I have often passed this cafe, and always intended to stop off, but since, to my mind, this is one of the ugliest stretches of road in the whole of London, I usually just get my head down and forge on to the slightly less ugly reaches of Station Road, Edgware. (You see, I do walk this way quite often.)

I find Portuguese cafes a good cut above most English caffs. I know some people will disagree, but there we are! Anyway, the Estrela da Manhã at 8 High Street, Edgware, is delightful, very good value, and I'll certainly be patronising it again.


Thinking a little harder about this adventure, I'm wondering now why 'morning star' appears to be such an important name in Portuguese - and Spanish.

It is, variously, a name for the planet Venus, when visible before the sunrise; a nasty, medieval weapon; and the daily newspaper of Stalinist origin that I am always trying to persuade people is not 'the daily newspaper of the labour movement'.

(You see what a lot can be spun from my fevered imagination after one walk up the Edgware Road. And I thought it was boring around here.)

Morning star - a nasty weapon
Morning Star - a newspaper (nothing wrong with this headline!)


David Duff said...

The Morning Star seen over Barnet?!

Check your byres, warn your shepherds and watch out for three men on camels!

Mrs Angry said...

hmm ... does that Portugese cafe do those traditional custardy things which I LOVE? Being an Edgware girl, I should know already, I suppose. The local site you mention is very interesting, I agree, especially on the lost rivers & streams which almost no one seems to know about.