Surface, North London - early 1972
The houses are terraced, the aerial view striped green and brown. It is springtime, then early summer. Most people have replied to their invitation with black ink, looping their letters and exclaiming delight, or occasionally regret. The handwriting is evocative, the shapes of the characters outdated, and the letters and cards are oddly similar, housed in creamy thick envelopes, lined and unlined.
83 Sydney Road is behind the white van, the silver car, the post van that might have delivered these pen marks; in an area of comparatively low crime for the region; red-doored and black-; for sale; under grey skies and blue. I can see the buildings from above, and for all of the zoom in, it is only when the street view kicks in that the building becomes obstructed. If I move along the road a little, I can look back at the building in all its oblique allure, asking me to step a little closer, free of its white van and beckoning me, as if suggesting that by moving stealthily enough I can trick the vehicle into not being there. It never works.
 North London violent crime rate comparison map. www.plumplot.co.uk