An exchange with Lorna Barnett about a restaurant in Bali took me back to my Bayswater days. I lived in Leinster Mews for six months in 2007. Almost opposite, in Leinster Terrace, were two Greek restaurants about 100 yards apart at either end of a parade of shops. One was always so full that, even alone, it was necessary to book to gain entrance. Needless to say it was an excellent establishment where Alice, aged about seven, once had fun with the waitress. They had struck up a banter throughout our meal. When it came to the complimentary Delight, Alice said: ‘Ooh. Turkish Delight.’ ‘No’, said the young lady, ‘it’s Greek Delight.’ Laughter all round. Although Alice was somewhat confused she knew it was a joke. The other restaurant was always empty.
Two years later, when running down this street, I noticed that the unpopular venue was up for sale. This morning, on Googling Leinster Terrace to check the location, I stumbled across ‘The tale of 2 Greek Restaurants’, a 13.11.09 posting on his blog by Dr. Michael Oon. Dr. Oon mentions that the empty eating place had finally closed its doors. He put the relative success of these two establishments down to Feng Shui. The Halapi, because of its location enjoys floods of energy from two different sources, whereas the now defunct Zorba had this mystical force rushing downhill away from it. I never tried Zorba, but I enjoyed several excellent meals and delightful service at The Halapi. I suspect there is more to it than the relative fortune of the location of footprints. Possibly the cooking and waiting?
This afternoon Jackie drove us to Ringwood for her to have a shop and me to have a wander. From High Street I walked down West Street where it was market day. From the comments of the stallholders, some of whom were packing up early, they weren’t having a very lucrative January. I ventured into Jubilee Gardens which had become a fishing lake. This informed me that the Avon was still in spate. Opposite this public park there are a number of angling suppliers and a path leading to the static caravan site I have seen surrounded by water from the other side of the flooded fields. Their gardens were waterlogged and access to the riverside was impossible.
I walked back to the Castleman Trailway by the usual route and along it in alternate directions, first right, then left and back to the carpark via The Bickerley. The paddling ponies I had seen on 23rd December 2012 had clearly been rescued, for they were nowhere in sight and there was no difference to the levels of the fast-flowing water on either side of the trail. On the bridge over the swollen river Avon I met a beautiful catwalk model in canine form. This was Ozzie, a young Saluki accompanied by his equally elegant owner. Despite his gangly friskiness on display for my benefit, I was informed that he was a ‘real couch potato’ indoors. Even after our engaging conversation, the dog’s conscientious companion remembered she had to ‘pick up his poo.’ She carried a plastic bag for the purpose.
Oven-cooked fish and chips sustained us for the evening.