Penelope Lively | A London View

Penelope Lively

Last thing, I watch the night mail go out. The back windows of my house gaze down into the yard of Islington’s main post office—a great block of Edwardian red brick, its façade an uncompromising array of windows, its only architectural flight of fancy the peculiar stunted campanile at each end of the building. A wrought-iron plaque on my garden wall, boundary with the post office yard, reminds me that the wall is the property of the Postmaster General, 1909. At night, the yard and the row of back gardens glow in the light of the post office’s orange sodium lamps—best in rain when the glow turns to gilt, sharply gilded foliage and glittering lakes on the tarmac of the yard.

Doris Lessing | A London View
A Small Bengal, NW3