Norman and I changed our venue today. We lunched at The Archduke on Concert Hall Approach Road opposite Waterloo Station. I had not been there since, when we both worked in London, Wolf and I frequented it up to about five years ago. It has changed ownership and now has a jazz theme. The food, wine, and service was as good as ever. My choice was Cumberland sausages, mashed potato and onion gravy followed by pecan pie with clotted cream. We shared an excellent bottle of Sicilian red wine.
As I was early for our rendezvous I took a walk along Lower Marsh and back to Waterloo via Station Approach Road, where the graffiti constantly changes. In a tunnel behind a metal grill, perhaps fitted to keep him contained, The Incredible Hulk prepared for action.
By the time I left Norman and walked to Carol’s via South Bank and Westminster Bridge, the light had failed and the sky clouded over. Westminster Winter Festival was again installed on the South Bank. A jolly little train was parked in the sidings in sight of Big Ben.
A metallic military living statue stood motionless beside the stalls. With my now customary comment: ‘If it’s worth a photograph……..’ I made a donation, in the process dropping an additional 5p piece which, because my lower back still has a knife stuck in it, I was unable to pick up. I told him this, and that he was welcome to it. He smiled, swivelled robotically, and raised his hand in acknowledgement.
Again early, I sat in Christchurch Gardens for a while before visiting Carol for our usual enjoyable conversation. Afterwards I returned home by the usual methods. Jackie, of course, was waiting at New Milton on time.