The street lived up to its name, making me feel very old indeed!
It seems only yesterday that I used to rush to Old Street every Friday and Saturday night (and Sunday lunchtimes too) from my temporary Bejam-supplied flat in Stanmore, because The London Apprentice was the best venue in town, playing great music in its basement dance floor area with a friendly, clone crowd, decent ale and a closing time past 2am. I liked the venue so much I ended up moving into Islington, not far away and got my first DJing break there which led on to my opening up my own night at The Paradise Club just up the road and then getting the Bromptons gig in Earl's Court and finally Heaven in Charing Cross and The Fridge in Brixton. Happy days!
Arriving early for the Microsoft event I took the opportunity to revisit Old Street itself and I hardly recognised it. The run-down street has turned into an up-market yuppified area where the 'greasy spoon' caff I was looking for has been replaced by endless bland 'salad and fancy coffee at inflated prices' franchises everywhere you look. I wonder if the Mildmay Mission Hospital where I used to do volunteer work at weekends is still there? Alas, I ran out of time to go and check.
But seeing all the changes, it suddenly occurred to me that what had seemed like 'yesterday' was actually more like 'fifteen years ago'. The area is probably safer now, with its high rise glass office blocks and up-market coffee bars, but it's turned what was an area that had real character into just another expansion of the City. You know you're getting old when you find yourself reminiscing for the 'good old days' of an area that has dramatically changed!