Saturday, 8 March 2014

Most important things first: Happy International Women's Day to everyone! Even in my short life, I have seen the leaps and bounds women and girls have taken, and it's almost unbelievable now to think that, when I was a child, it was still considered virtuous for girls to be self-sacrificing, self-effacing and quiet. Men and boys were the important ones – we had to learn to take a backseat. Yes, really! Now the mere idea of this is laughable – thank goodness – and hopefully it won't be long before all women everywhere on our planet can take equality for granted. In the meantime, keep up the good fight.

On other fronts, this week saw me going to the huge construction site behind King's Cross in north London. This area is seeing an unprecedented amount of change. It's gone from being a seedy, red-light, low-rent district with a few old railway workers' apartment blocks and lots of sidings, to being a completely new village with huge glass office buildings, apartments and – crucially, lots of open public spaces. Equally important is the way in which even remnants of the old railway buildings are being preserved and used as elements in the new builds, as can be seen in the careful way an old wall is being preserved behind scaffolding, awaiting its next incarnation as the front of a line of shops.

I'm not usually a fan of huge construction sites, but this one is actually making good use of an area that was not going to be green any time soon and the open public spaces are interesting and inviting. The one in front of the Granary Building, which holds both an art college, a bar and a restaurant, has very cool fountains that seem to be dancing to unheard music. All around are benches, tables and chairs under trees and, along one side, are street-food vans serving all kinds of interesting dishes. It's a feel-good place workers want to go to. And, as an extra bonus, the Regent's Canal runs there and steps down for both getting to the water and sitting in the sunshine, have been installed. A place to go check out even if you have no business there.

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