Liesel visited the physiotherapist again today in Earlsfield so we took advantage of what might be the last decent day for a while and spent the rest of it in London.
It might be one of the last chances to do that in any case, as we’re suddenly making progress on the house-moving front. But more of that later.
Today involved using nine forms of transport which is always a joy: we hope moving around Manchester is just as easy once we’re there.
- Walked from home to Chessington North station, caught a SWR train to Earlsfield, then
- Caught a Southern train to Clapham Junction, then
- Caught an Overground train to Denmark Hill, then
- Caught a 185 bus to the Horniman Museum, then
- Caught another 185 bus to Lewisham Station, then
- Caught a DLR train to Greenwich Cutty Sark, then
- Caught a Clipper boat to Shakepeare’s Globe Theatre on the South Bank, then
- Walked to Waterloo Station and caught a SWR train to Berrylands station, then
- Walked up the hill and caught a K2 bus to Gosbury Hill, then
- Walked home!
But what exciting things did we do in between? Liesel had physio, I left a bit later and met her in a coffee bar in Earlsfield. Chocolate and Coffee, it’s called, and it has very nice coffee and plenty of chocolate based confectionery, as the name suggests. Come out of Earlsfield Station, cross the road, turn left and it’s past the first turning on the right.
We’ve wanted to visit the Horniman Museum for a long time. I’ve only been once before, when Sarah, Jenny, Helen and I went, about 20+ years ago, to see live video footage of a volcano erupting in Hawaii. This was exciting technology for the time and very interesting, well worth the tortuous drive there around the South Circular Road.
Anyway, today, Liesel and I went by public transport and as you can see, it’s not a straightforward journey. We debated whether to go via Penge (note 1) but in the end, catching a bus from Denmark Hill made more sense as it stopped right outside the museum.
The gardens were fantastic. There’s a Sundial walk although we only managed to find a few dials, numbers 2, 6, 7 and 8, all different models.
Being on top of hill, we shouldn’t really have been surprised to see the London skyline, even the arch at Wembley Stadium. Planes flew over from London City Airport at regular intervals slightly spoiling what should have been a quiet, peaceful experience.
There were some animals there too, rabbits, sheep, goats, alpacas. Lots of plants from which we get different coloured dyes as well as other flowers. The Sun was out and so it was a beautiful day for a long walk outside.
The library building was interesting: the roof has wild grass growing on it. I wondered whether the weight would be too much, but I wasn’t going to volunteer to mow the roof.
In the museum itself, which is free apart from the special exhibitions, we were stunned by the range of stuffed animals. There was even a walrus which breathed its last in 1890 or something. The dodo (note 2) was magnificent, bigger than I thought. As was the porcupine (note 3).
OK, notes explained:
- As mentioned in the David Bowie song ‘Did you ever have a Dream?’
- As mentioned in the David Bowie song ‘Dodo’.
- As mentioned in the David Bowie song ‘Cracked Actor’.
The mastodon tusk was a million years old. It’s funny how your sense of time changes: only a million years old, we just missed it. That’s a short period of time compared with the extinction of dinosaurs, 65 million years ago.
We thought it would be nice to get a boat back to Waterloo, unless of course we could find one that went all the way back to Kingston. (There wasn’t one.) We sat at the back of the boat where we enjoyed the stench of diesel fumes.
But it always a joy to spend time on the Thames.
We disembarked by the Globe Theatre and walked along the South Bank back to Waterloo, slowly, admiring the sand sculptures as usual and again thinking how wonderful it is that the Garden Bridge idea has been hit on the head.
The other day, I was walking around Chessington and I came across a nice, friendly wall. Well, friendly, optimistic graffiti, really:
Opportunities for walking around Chessington, 10,000 steps or not, are becoming limited. After a few phone calls and a visit from Liesel to the estate agent, we feel that progress is being made on our house move.
I’ve signed (but not dated) both contracts, one for our sale and one for our purchase.
We have received all (or at least, a lot) of the reports on our flat, in which we learnt about the risk of flooding (small), the affect of the next phase of the high-speed railway, HS2 (at least 300 metres away and not scheduled for construction for a long, long time) and more. Nothing to worry about.
We have lots of rules imposed by the landlord, the leaseholder, but again, nothing too onerous, unexpected or unreasonable. Storage in the attic and storage of our bikes might be difficult, but we’ll try the informal approach.
It seems that our buyer’s solicitor is no good. He’s been sitting on paperwork that he should have passed on. Now that we’ve got our estate agent on the case, we have, at last, receieved from our buyer the list of furniture that she wants to keep. We’re happy to leave all those items for her but more importantly, we now know what we need to dispose of or to take with us when we move.
The agent spoke to her yesterday and today: she wants to move fast and is just as dismayed at the performance of her solicitor as we all are.
We can start packing things up, now: we have several crates but we’ll need lots of packing boxes too. Progress at last!
On this day 45 years ago, as I described here, I said goodbye to my appendix.
I also remember 6/6/66. Mr Price, my final and only male primary school teacher was great. He tried to explain the news to us 11-year olds, mostly about Nigeria, Biafra and Rhodesia I seem to remember. And of course, we were looking forward to the World Cup.
This day in 1945 was D-Day, the Normandy Landings. General Eisenhower planned the invasion from his headquarters in Bushy Park, a frequent destination for our walks and bike rides.
My worst ever June 6 experience, even worse than an emergency appendectomy, was in 2005. I took my Dad to the Royal County Hospital in Guildford for a series of tests. He was frail, weak, in a wheelchair and I pushed him from one department to another, follow the blue line, follow the green line, X-rays and other examinations. After taking him home, I really should have paused before driving up the A3 to my own home. It was a hard, very emotional day for me, and I was just the helper. Dad had many medical issues and he still thought he’d be able to look after himself.
It’s funny how certain days have a theme. My appendectomy, Dad’s long day having hospital tests, Liesel visiting the physio today. And last year, this was the day I had stitches out following surgery on my gum by my periodontist.
On the other hand, on this day in 1992, David Bowie, who I mentioned earlier, married Iman, so that’s lovely!
And today’s June 6 adventure in London was lovely too, thanks Liesel xx.