On this much brighter, yet very windy, and not entirely rain-free, morning I set off by my usual route to Carol’s in SW1. Links Avenue and Crown Lane were festooned with laminated posters advertising two different, and seperate, lost cats. Since I saw none proclaiming found felines and there were clear photographs and full descriptions of the missing animals, I am unlikely to get into the Brendan (see 26th. June) situation again. London Transport police were monitoring the chaotic crowds boarding buses outside the tube station. Someone had dropped a fresh pasty outside Greggs, the bakers. Imagine the disappointment at standing with mouth open, expecting to savour that first bite, and the snack slipping from your fingers.
Magpies were drinking from a pool in the very muddy footpath in Morden Hall Park. I’ll probably never get my toenails clean.
This is one of the fallen trees forming primitive bridges across the river Wandle.
As always in the morning the tube trains were littered with discarded copies of Metro, a free newspaper. Aiming for the escalator at a jam-packed Victoria underground station, a woman dragged her wheeled container over my foot. ‘Oh look what you’re doing with it.’ was my irritated response. Her male companion had the good sense to hold back when he considered crossing my path at the top.
The gents toilet in Victoria Station was strewn with the usual yellow cones warning of a wet floor. One bore what I assumed to be a translation in a language with which I am unfamiliar. It read: ‘Piso Mojado’. A dog had left a deposit on the pavement outside the Westminster Bank in Victoria Street.
Opposite Victoria Station stands the Victoria Palace Theatre. I have attended two and a half performances there in the past, one of them augmented by my own. ‘Billy Elliot’ has been playing there for some years. It is quite the best stage production of its kind that I have ever seen. During the first week, for Louisa’s birthday, I took her and Errol to see the show. At the time the film was one of Louisa’s favourites. Naturally we had a curry beforehand.
Some years earlier, soon after Becky had returned to London from Newark, I arranged to meet her at Victoria Station to take her to the Victoria Palace to see one of the opening performances of ‘Buddy’. She didn’t turn up. Since this was most unlike either one of my two reliable daughters I waited an hour. The only other person I have ever waited for that long was her mother on our first date, again at Victoria Station. Having finally given up on Becky, wondering what on earth had gone wrong, which probably affected my mood, I went to the theatre, explained the situation, and asked for a refund. This was not possible. I asked to speak to the manager. He was unavailable. ‘OK,’ said I, tearing up the tickets which I threw into the office, ‘you have these, they’re no good to me.’ Storming out of the theatre in high dudgeon, I walked straight into Becky.
Somewhat shame-faced we returned to the ticket office where I sought admission. There was now a different booking clerk. We could not gain admission because the show had started and anyway I didn’t have any tickets. I quickly replaced my blown gasket and again asked to speak to the manager. This time I was invited to wait for the intermission when he might just possibly be available. He did indeed materialise. The jigsaw puzzle that was the shredded tickets was fished out of the wastepaper basket, pieced together, and closely scrutinised. We now found that the manager was sympathetic to our plight. He had actually appeared before the intermission but invited us to wait until then and enter the theatre during the break. We were given two much better seats and tickets for a future complete performance. Is that ever likely to happen again? ‘That’ll be the day’.
Our evening meal tonight consisted of Jackie’s Penne Pasta and my Mehti Ghost and rice; each made some time ago; and each served up on the same plate. Jackie had a small bottle of Hoegaarden and I had a couple of glasses of the Campo Viejo 2007 reserve rioja which Danni gave me for my birthday.