Leaving London


Being fortunate enough to start walking before rain set in for the day, I took my usual route to Wimbledon station and boarded a train to Waterloo to meet my friend Tony.  A British Gas van in Maycross Avenue reminded us that 2012 was London’s Olympics year.  There was another in Wilton Crescent.  This was the third time we have hosted these games, and 2012 was a resounding success.

Morden Civic Centre, which Jackie will be leaving on 6th November, in preparation for our move to the mediaeval vllage of Minstead in the heart of the New Forest, towers over Mostyn Gardens.  We will finally be departing from London, a journey celebrated in song by Tom Paxton in the 1960s.  I once heard him sing ‘Leaving London’ in The Troubador, a Coffee Bar somewhere near Earls Court.  As I struggled to remember the name of this establishment I ran the lyrics through in my head, and there it was: ‘Last night The Troubador was so full they barred the door.’  After Jackie and I split up in 1972 I was never able to listen to our favourite singer again, but his words remain fixed in my memory.  One of the reasons I have chosen ‘Ramblings’ as the overall title of my blog is in homage to the first time I heard Paxton, having discovered ‘Rambling Boy’ in a record shop in the early ’60s.  It is a treasure I have passed on to Holly, who enjoys playing vinyl albums on a turntable.  Like ‘Under the Boardwalk’, mentioned yesterday, these gems can be found on youtube.

A plaque in the John Innes garden and recreation ground further down Mostyn Road explains the history of the beautiful eponymous preservation area in which it lies.  Whilst seated in this garden writing my notes, I received the following text from Elizabeth:

‘Just sitting in the conservatory being entertained by the activity at bay tree bird station!  Magpie and dove out there together for ages not sure if they are playing a game or if the dove smaller of the two birds is just telling the magpie to shove off!  The little birds in and out of bird feeders are keeping them both busy with sprinklings.  It’s warm and cosy in here………’  (This is presented as I received it.  Had Elizabeth known this was going to be published she would most certainly have added the requisite punctuation).  The conservatory is decribed as the garden room in the post of 5th October.

On the footpath between Dundonald Road and the railway a small child, at a snail’s pace, was trailing her fingers along the mesh fence which stretched far ahead.  When I quipped that this was going to take some time, her mother, slowly pushing a buggy, readily agreed and added: ‘I’ve come prepared for this’.

After my meeting with Tony at The Archduke I returned by train to Wimbledon and, dodging umbrellas, walked back to Links Avenue from there, dripping over the threshold.

I dined alone this evening on Sainsbury’s chicken and ham pie with salad that really needs eating up.  That doesn’t sound too appetising, but I enjoyed it.  Jackie is out with a friend.


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