A different London

Serendipity. I stumbled on this lovely essay by Ian Jack while looking for something else. Sample:

Perhaps the best Sunday morning of my life happened in June 1970, when I walked across Hampstead Heath from an interview with Harold Evans, which closed with his saying that I’d got a job on his newspaper. It was sunny, warm enough for the Sunday Times editor to wear nothing more than a dressing gown (he’d told me to be early, but he was in bed when I got there) as he conducted the conversation over his breakfast orange juice at a table in his back garden.

His house was a Tudorbethan villa on the Holly Lodge Estate in Highgate. I remember he said, in the context of where I could afford to live, that a house like his would cost about £20,000, but that flats could be had for £5,000 or £6,000. My salary as a sub-editor would be £3,000. All these amounts seemed large.

I walked across the Heath to the tube at Hampstead in a daze of excitement. The sun sparkled on the ponds, couples walked dogs or kissed each other on the grass, the dome of St Paul’s shivered far away in the haze, a kite bobbed up on the horizon….