‘Where’s The Tripod?’


This being a Norman and Carol day, Jackie drove me to Southampton where I boarded the train to Waterloo and thence to Neasden by Jubilee Line.  As I disembarked onto the tube platform a young German family asked me the way to an Indian temple of which I was unaware.  They showed the photograph of a large complex in white stone reminiscent of the Morden mosque which I visited on 18th May last year.  I had never seen what Norman subsequently told me was the largest Hindu temple outside India.  The guidebook that contained the photograph was helpful to neither them nor me.  I don’t read German.

I led them to a map on the wall of the station entrance.  There we found it.  Neasden station is on Neasden Lane.  The temple is on the North Circular Road.  These two thoroughfares are separated by the railway line.  There is no route across at that point.  After yesterday’s fiasco, I didn’t really feel equipped to offer further guidance.  Nevertheless I had a go.  They seemed happy with my solution which was to turn left out of the station, left again after a short while, and to weave through side streets to reach the North Circular.  Quite a long way down that they would reach their goal.  I speculated that they might find a bus.  I do hope they made it.

Observant readers may have noticed I haven’t done much walking since the complaining calf I reported on 6th of this month.  This is because it is still whinging.  As I walked from the station to Norman’s, the voice of my Dad, as it often does, came to me.  He had recommended feet pointing straight ahead, not splayed outwards, and shoulders back.  I still attempt to follow his direction.  Dad didn’t quite reach the age when aching joints make this all a little difficult.  Or if he did, he never mentioned it.  It was a German friend of Chris’s who claimed that if, after a certain age, you woke up one morning and nothing hurt, you were dead.  Well, I am not dead yet, and a few aches and pains are not going to deter me.  A strained calf is another matter, and I was under strict instruction from Jackie not to take my usual perambulation to Green Park.  For once I had more sense, and anyway, she reads the blog.

I met a couple of men surveying the large junction at the end of Neasden Lane and was able to confirm that what they thought must have been an old cinema was indeed just that.  This led us on to discuss the Granada, Tooting, in South West London, which has had many incarnations.  Long ago it was built as a magnificent baroque theatre.  In the brief heyday of the cinema it showed films in a splendid setting with three or four thousand seats, and ornate boxes in tiers high above the stalls.  A preserved building, it is now what one of the men termed ‘the finest bingo hall in the land’.  Many years ago I attended there my only bingo session with Auntie Stella.  I fell asleep during the proceedings.

As I sat on the bench talking to the surveyors, I asked them what they had done with their equipment. Roundabout, Neasden Lane Pointing across the roundabout, one said they were keeping an eye on it.  I couldn’t see it, but I thought that was my problem.  Feeling like Harry Enfield’s paternal character, You-Don’t-Wanna-Do-It-Like-That, I suggested they didn’t want to leave it there.  Soon afterwards one hastily gulped down the last of his sandwich and leaped to his feet crying: ‘Where’s the tripod? The tripod’s gone’.  Off he dashed in unsuccessful pursuit. Church Road market He then appeared to be investigating the stalls of Church Road market.  Perhaps that is where he found it, for he did eventually reappear with it.

Surveyor

Norman served succulent stuffed chicken breast followed by flavoursome fruit crumble, accompanied by an excellent Spanish red wine, which he thinks I brought him some time ago.

I then took my usual route to Carol’s and from there to Southampton where Jackie was waiting.


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