Britain’s Leading Ladies


Jackie delivered me to Southampton Parkway in plenty of time for the Waterloo train for my visits to my London friends; and the service was subject to delay because of electrical supply problems.  I therefore occupied myself with an idle amble.

Readers will know that I am a Victor Meldrew when it comes to grammar and punctuation.  I am grateful to Jessie for likening me to that loveable public spirited sitcom character.  I have probably done the apostrophe to death. Parking Notice The unnecessary ‘of’, of course, I have not previously mentioned.  The parking warning notice outside the station gave me an opportunity to focus on this.

I then wandered along the taxi rank peering into the windows.  This possibly disappointed a couple of drivers standing by their cabs.  If so, they didn’t show it, as we had a friendly chat after I explained that I didn’t need a ride, but was looking for my brother in case he was there.  Joe, you see, drives a taxi for a living.  He works out of Southampton, which these Eastleigh men say is much more lucrative.

Chris and Elizabeth are both advanced mathematicians, and tell me that our younger sibling is the best of them all.  He chooses not to use this talent, being happier in his chosen role.  Apart from the war years, when he worked with army vehicles, Dad drove a furniture van all his adult life.  Perhaps driving is in the genes.  Maths certainly is.  Our father was also very good at sums.  I’m not.

On the train, two crying babies set each other off, and we settled down to an ear-shattering journey.  Fortunately one of the infants disembarked at Winchester and silence suddenly ensued.

I walked the Westminster Bridge route to Green Park where I boarded a Jubilee Line train to Neasden, and continued on foot to Norman’s.

London Eye

In its spider’s hawsers the London Eye caught an extended erection I have not noticed before.

Ophelia

The flora in the poster of Millais’ Ophelia at Neasden station has been embellished by the ubiquitous buddleia.

Ace Waste Skips

Ace Waste Skips in Neasden Lane has been imaginatively advertised high above the eight foot fence that surrounds their depot.  Britain's leading ladiesOr is it an installation by Tracy Emin, who M & S now include in our leading ladies?  (I swear I thought of the artist before I passed the retailer’s hoarding.  Such is sometimes the luck of this blogger.)

Further along, I spotted a gentleman measuring a mature plane tree.  He knew all about the Ancient Tree project, but he was employed to protect from development those at risk from the bulldozer.  He said he had been born in Clapham but had moved to Woking which was ‘becoming like Clapham now’.  Clapham is, of course, far more upmarket in the present than in his day.

Norman produced an exceedingly fine lamb shank first course followed by an apricot and almond sponge flan.  Fortunately the barolo we drank was superb, because I had given it to him.

I took my usual route to Carol’s and afterwards back to Southampton where my carriage awaited. Harvest moon We were tracked all the way home by a magnificent harvest moon.


2 responses to “Britain’s Leading Ladies”

  1. Millais’ Ophelia was painted in Kingston upon Thames. The river is the River Hogsmill, and Millais enthusiasts reckon they can still point out the exact spot. (I have my doubts.) The lady wasn’t floating in the river at the time. She was added to the picture later, after posing in Millais’ bath.

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