Just before midday Jackie delivered me to Southampton Parkway for the London train. Wandering along the car park, killing time because I was early, I contemplated car wheels, many of which were reflected in the numerous puddles. This reminded me of a recent conversation with Jackie’s brother-in-law Ron, in which he had informed me that no cars had been built with hub caps for many years. I had not noticed.
I got talking to a taxi driver who told me that the aluminium alloy wheels were made with a mixture of aluminium and rust. He didn’t know what the special properties of rust were, but said the reason we didn’t see that any more either was that scrap metal merchants collected it for the manufacture of this material.
From Waterloo, I walked across the modern version of the Hungerford Footbridge from which there was a clear view of Waterloo Bridge and the skyline beyond, in which St. Paul’s still holds its own among the taller modern buildings.
Passing through Charing Cross Station and across The Strand, I skirted Trafalgar Square of which the fountains sparkled splendidly in the sunshine. I took the pathway by the left of the National Gallery to Leicester Square and carried on up Wardour Street which sported vibrant decorations, no doubt in readiness for the Chinese New Year at the end of this month.
At the entrance to Gerrard Street a tourist couple asked me to take their photograph with the gentleman’s mobile phone. As usual in these situations, I asked if I could capture them on my camera. They were happy to oblige.
From Shaftesbury Avenue I proceeded to Piccadilly where I shopped in Waterstones and the market in St James’s Churchyard.
I continued to Green Park intending to travel the one stop to Victoria by tube to visit Carol. This was not possible. The Victoria line was closed because of flooding at the terminal station. I took the Piccadilly Line to South Kensington, and the District one to Victoria. Chaos prevailed as the crowds seeking alternative routes struggled to understand the several options open for various destinations given out on the public address system. I didn’t get a seat, but I did get to Carol’s. After my time with her I took my usual journey back to Southampton whence Jackie drove me home.
On the 507 bus a gentleman with a stentorian voice who was clad in a greatcoat and a candlewick bedspread provided us all with information about food; alternately expressed true sorrow and profound gratitude for what he had become; and spared a thought for elderly people with arthritis, which, thankfully he hadn’t come to yet. He staggered off the vehicle struggling with a huge, cumbersome, laundry bag. Most other passengers silently focussed on their electronic devices.
Back home, we dined on lamb curry and pilau rice, every bit as tasty as yesterday. I drank sparkling water.