Everything else may come and go – the heath food shop, the croissants, the crack dealers by the bookies, but one of the constants in Queen’s Crescent was Donna’s flowers.
And now Donna has died, aged just 48. Since she was a chirpy kid working her dad’s stall, Donna’s cheery cackle was the soundtrack of most market-goers’ Saturday. Her flowers, her herbs and other plants were cheaper by far than Columbia Road or any garden centre. She was strong on star lilies, had an eye for a dahlia and a tulip, was great with ‘mums – better than her dad.
I have come back from the crescent laden with armfuls of her cheery flowers more times than I dare remember, often forgetting in the excitement exactly how many vases I had. Donna was warm-hearted and quick-witted. She was loving and well-loved. Queen’s Crescent has lost a little of its soul. RIP.
Allan Jenkins is editor of the Observer Food Monthly magazine and has lived in Kentish Town since 1987.