On the train from Southampton to Waterloo, to which Jackie delivered me this morning, an extremely rowdy, already drunken group of young men bearing beer cans and plastic wine glasses, accompanied by very tiny fascinators flickering and wobbling above very weighty women wearing dresses to match, fortunately alighted at Winchester. One of the men rested his shod foot on a window. As they left, two of them didn’t know which way to turn with their unwieldy plastic packing case containing further cans. I wondered how they would fare at Ascot.
I finished reading John S. Morrill’s ‘The Stuarts’ and began Paul Langford’s ‘The Eighteenth Century’ in the Oxford Illustrated History of Britain.
We paused outside Clapham Junction where the embankment was incongruously meadow-like.
The Ascot crowds convening at Waterloo displayed far more elegance and fascination than my earlier companions on the train.
Having previously determined against it, my trip of a couple of days ago demonstrated that whichever way I walked I was not going to escape the global influx, so I took my usual route to Green Park to catch the Jubilee Line train to Neasden, and Norman’s for lunch.
The London Eye attracted its usual long queues.
A little girl riding along the Embankment perched on her father’s shoulders reminded me of Becky’s superbly adapted Fathers’ Day card.
She, too, will not have forgotten that climb up Mount Snowdon. I had walked up and down the Miners’ Track with her on my shoulders. Although I copped out of the last bit to the summit I had walked up this route regarded as the easy one without too much trepidation. That was because we were walking through clouds.
On the way down when they had cleared I realised that there was a sheer drop either side of the narrowest section of the path.
After I’d got past it, my shirt was wringing wet. The only trousers available in the 1970s were that sartorial aberration, flares. This made me think of a glorious episode of ‘Minder’ set in the 1980s when they were no longer de rigueur, and the hapless Arthur Daley, played so well by the marvellous George Cole, bought a bargain box of jeans. The dismay on his face when he opened the container elicited amused delight from Dennis Waterman’s beautifully depicted Terry, and howls of laughter from me. The garments were, of course, flared.
Westminster Bridge was slightly less populated than usual. A carnation (see post of 28th February) had been discarded on the pavement. Further along a vociferously combative middle-aged woman demanded £20 from a reluctant young man on whom she had planted another.
A London taxi had broken down in a most unfortunate spot. The driver alternated between tinkering outside with the engine and revving up the accelerator inside his cab.
Basking on their rocks, St. James’s Park’s pelicans enjoyed the spray from the fountain which cooled them on another sultry day.
Building works had brought single lane traffic to St. James’s Street. One had to weave around stationary taxis to negotiate zebra crossings. As the meters continue to click over whilst the cabs are not able to move, I dread to think what the fares cost.
As I sat down to Norman’s roast pork dinner, I burst out laughing. In response to his query I related a conversation I had had with Jackie last night. While we were enjoying her roast pork dinner she had said: ‘You will have roast pork tomorrow’. ‘Eh?’, said I, ‘How do you know what Norman will give me?’. ‘Sod’s law’, she replied.
This prompted Norman to tell his sod’s law story. ‘When you drop a slice of bread and jam on the floor it always lands jam side down’. ‘Yes……’, said I, sensing there was more to come. ‘Except’, continued my friend, ‘when you are demonstrating sod’s law’. Perfect.
Carta Roja gran reserva 2005 accompanied today’s meal that was completed by summer pudding which he knows is one of my favourites.
I went on to Carol’s and thence back to Southampton by my normal routes, and Jackie drove me back to Minstead.