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I shall never forget a large painting that I saw in a gallery in Bruton Mews in the 1960s. A corpulent middle class personage was depicted, horizontal and in mid-air (wearing a bowler hat, was he?) while an adjacent pedestrian, crouching slightly, clapped her hand to her mouth in covert derision. The title was, I think, “Fat Gentleman Falling down in the Street.” Figures, right? The artist-my daughter tells me he was Michael Andrews-had turned a pedestrian event into a symbol of the abrupt decline, if not quite yet the fall, of a bourgeois.

This week, in the Cromwell Road,…

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