There was a beautiful and brilliant session in the Budapest Cafe Bar today by Andrea Pope with keyboard accompanist and vocalist, Steve Cox. Over goulash etc, we were treated to wonderful Lloyd Webber, Sondheim and other show songs as well as such delights as Autumn Leaves with "French words" and "English words" ... "not a translation". I was particularly knocked out by Andrea Pope's exquisite rendition of "Or am I losing my mind", which showed her vocal range, very strong throughout from sultry low tones through winsome middle and into effortless, mellow highs.
Walking down the high road to Cafe Budapest we passed a large corner premises with a name indecipherable to anyone who cannot read the Cyrillic alphabet - so I don't know what it's called - with signs promising Bulgarian cuisine and booze. Further along, would you believe a Moldovan cafe, then the Budapest cafe. That's all in about three blocks. At the other end we have some Polish shops, in amongst the Thai and what not. It's a great road for guaging the kind of people arriving in London from the rest of the world.
On the subject of the changing High Road: The Spotted Dog has closed! This is unbelievable. It is said that more taxi drivers know where the Spotted Dog is than know where Willesden is. It's been there since the 19th century.