Deborah Ross: How to build an authentic Crouch End

If you ask me...

Share
Related Topics

If you ask me, and while London burns, I feel I ought to remind you these may, at least, be exciting times for Crouch End; the setting for SJ Watson's best-selling thriller Before I Go To Sleep, which has been bought up by Ridley Scott's film company and is soon to become a major Hollywood movie.

The only question over the project seems to be: will it retain its "authenticity" and stay in N8, or will the action move to America? But does it matter? Maybe not. I believe that if you assemble all the right ingredients you could build an "authentic" Crouch End in the Nevada desert, if you so fancied, but you must have the following:

You must have mothers taking up all pavement space with those chariot-sized prams – Bugaboos? – that force you to hug store fronts to get past. (I was forced to hug David Clulow the other day, and while he knows a great deal about sunglasses, he gives very little back in terms of warmth). You must have a health-food shop which sells both organic mung beans and has staff who look peculiarly sickly. You must ensure that all useful shops are replaced by coffee shops with mismatched crockery and signs that read "home-made cake!" and "home-made ice-cream!" as if "home-made" is profoundly exciting in some way. (I home-make quite a lot of home-made food at home and it is pretty boring, for the most part).

You must have mothers huddling on the street corners and discussing private schools while saying they are not the sort of people who send their children to private schools. (Sending your child to private school while not being the sort of person who sends their children to private school is an absolutely essential component of the Crouch End psyche). You must be quite scared of neighbouring Wood Green, known as "Hood Green", which not only suffered from the rioting – I need a telly! I'll riot in Comet! – but has a multiplex cinema where you may find a penis graffitied on your seat, with the entreaty: "Sit on this!" (Imagine! At my age! With my vaginitis!). You must never have rioting in Crouch End and, although word has it Blockbuster was broken into, it was probably only because someone had an urgent need to reappraise Kieslowski's Three Colours Red. So this is how to build your own Crouch End, and don't forget Gail's bakery. You'll need somewhere to faint over the price of an artisan sourdough and wonder at the lunacy. This is essential, too.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Etch, a Sketch

Jane Merrick
 

Something wrong with the Conservative Party’s game plan

John Rentoul
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing