Sunday, October 11, 2015

Graves, buses and street art

I'm starting to wind down and my stamina is waning. But I'm pushing on, albeit at a slower pace. Saturday morning, while Roger went to the gym and did errands, I opted to skip mat class in favor of doing a bunch of stretching exercises before taking a long, leisurely walk up to Paddington Cemetery in Queen's Park. I actually passed the Pilates Studio on the way and felt a bit guilty about not being inside for class, but the cemetery was calling to me. I do love me a good graveyard. Although this one isn't counted among the Magnificent Seven, it dates from about the same time and, though small, has all the elements that I think make for an excellent cemetery ramble -- a central avenue leading to a derelict funeral chapel, wooded side paths, overgrown spots and broken headstones, interesting Victorian monuments, angels (at least one of them weeping), and -- something I hadn't seen in the grander graveyards -- iron bootscrapers and toilets. I made use of both.

The cemetery looks close to the Queen's Park station (about a 12 minute walk from the flat) on the map, but the only way into it is on the furthest corner. So, by the time I got back to the flat I'd already logged over 3 miles on my Fitbit. Roger and I had some lunch and then headed out to the East End via Westbourne Park station. Across from the station is the Westbourne Park bus garage, where TfL houses, washes and repairs hundreds of buses. One of their occasional vintage bus days was going on in the yard, where they had on display an omnibus that had been repurposed during World War I as a troop carrier or something (painted a khaki color), a late 1930s prototype double decker that didn't go into production until after World War II, and a 1950s era double decker. I'm sure that the bus enthusiasts among my followers will have more info to add once I post the pix.

From Liverpool Street station, we wandered along Brick Lane, taking various side streets to check out new street art. Along the way, we ran into FIVE street art walking tours, something I'd never encountered before. I hadn't roamed  around this area for two years, and at every turn I saw some new, horrid development that was complete or in process, including the old fruit and wool exchange building in Brushfield Street that's currently being demolished to make way for another abomination. Lots and lots of trendy clothing stores and cafes catering to the Hoxton hipster types have opened up. I don't have so much of a problem with that, as the shops are occupying existing storefronts, but there are now very few shops of any kind that meet the needs of the long-time residents of the area. Tons of expensive flats are being built for yuppies and wealthy international students. Unless the pace of development is slowed by the new mayor, whoever that turns out to be, I won't recognize the area at all in another two year's time.

We stopped into the Howard Griffin Gallery to see Pablo Delgado's exhibition, and then had a drink at the Old Blue Last, a pub that still appears as gritty as it would have 50 years ago, but was full of hipsters.

We ended the day up in Belsize Park, where we met up with Greg and Esther and then walked up to Hampstead to that great little French bistro where we've eaten before. I had the trout, and it was lovely.

Today (Sunday) we'll go up to the farmers' market at the Salusbury Road Primary School and then I'm off on my own while Roger does some school work. I'm thinking I'll go down to the White Cube in Bermondsey and then mooch along Bankside as I haven't seen enough of the Thames this week. This evening I'll be packing and then out the door early Monday for my flight. Not sure if I'll get another dispatch written until I'm home.

£1.25 donation to St John's Ambulance at the vintage bus event
£1 for cookie at the Town House gallery and cafe in Fournier Street
£22 for dinner
25,228 steps, 10.42 miles

No comments:

Post a Comment