I've mentioned the thriving independent spirit of the locals before, but do I also detect a streak of republicanism? Wanting to add a topical piece to the blog, I went in search of bunting and other displays of patriotism, but was sorely disappointed. Many shops and businesses have hardly bothered, and as so often, Upper Norwood appears to have slipped into the crevice between 5 boroughs, with no council sponsored decorations. If not republicanism, I guess it's simply a manifestation (or lack of) of the current austerity. My search wasn't completely fruitless however. Facing each other across Church Road, The Alma & Vintagehart had both made an effort. Vintagehart provided a classic punk themed window display. Ironically, punk, and in particular, The Sex Pistols and their version of "God Save The Queen" have over the years acquired national treasure status, making them as important to Britain's cultural identity as the icons they sought to smash. Meanwhile in total contrast, the simple but tasteful bunting in the pub opposite, was crowned by a blooming marvelous Union Jack!