Continuous rain fell today, but the temperature was still very warm.
Jackie drove me to and from New Milton for the London train and lunch with Wolf and Luci. From Waterloo I took the Northern Line tube to Clapham Common and walked to our friends’ home in Hambalt Road, reversing the process after stimulating conversation and an excellent lunch prepared by Luci. We enjoyed a tasty chicken casserole, new potatoes, and a tangy melange of some six or seven flavoursome vegetables. Luci’s seasonal pumpkin pie perked up with black cherries. She and I drank a very good Claret from 2012. Wolf, as always, preferred apple juice.
With more than an hour left of the outward journey, a gentleman preparing to sit on the opposite side of the corridor from me, had some difficulty removing his outer clothing. This necessitated his wriggling his rear end in my direction in a rather ungainly fashion. The aisles on these trains are very narrow. It was only after he had managed to place part of the said stern on his seat that I realised the young man was not. In fact he was so fat that one leg was permanently planted in the gangway. When people squeezed past, it was I who, for self preservation, needed to lurch to my right in order to avoid contact with various anatomical parts, depending on the height and contours of the individuals concerned, and whether their fronts or backs were presented to me. The bunch of keys attached to the guard’s belt could have put my eye out. A bit of a bummer, really.
I have mentioned before how most public conveniences outside central London are no longer kept open. As I left Clapham Common underground station, I noticed that the railings for the lavatories attached to the building were unbolted and open. For a moment I had thought I may be able to avail myself of the facilities. Before descending the steps I noticed the chairs half way down, the board advertising Live Music, and, more importantly, what WC now stands for. If you care to click on the image you will also see it. This was also rather disappointing. I can only hope that some of the original closets have been retained for the use of current customers.
The street behind the station, beyond the grass bank at the edge of the common, is also more up-market than it once was. I wonder what the generations of crows have made of the changes.