Posted in London on Wednesday 13th July 2005 at 10:18pm
Woken early by the sun, which gave me a little time to finish packing a bag. Set out at 0930 and had a quiet ride up to London reading Dining on Stones in a near feverish fashion. Things ground to a halt somewhere near Airport Junction, and despite being informed it was down to a track circuit failure people began to get jumpy. Lots of clipped mobile calls and return trips to the buffet with telltale glasses of ice in one hand and an anonymous paper bag in the other. Arrived at a slightly subdued but startlingly hot Paddington and made for the bus stop.
With the section of tube I wanted out of action, whimsical routes were out. As escalators are a personal taboo it was down to a No. 36 bus to Vauxhall. Despite concerns, it all went smoothly. Parked myself near the back doors, getting a good blast of cool air at each stop. Noted that people were reluctant to use the upper deck - which I put down to the power of mass-media images. North onto the teeming Edgware Road and then towards Marble Arch. Along Park Lane, around three brick walled sides of Buckingham Palace and through the chaos of Victoria before heading for Vauxhall Bridge. A brief wait at Vauxhall, watching shiny new rolling stock pass by.
Arrived at Surbiton and spent some time admiring the station building before moving on. Had committed the walk along Victoria Road and towards the Thames to memory. A pleasant small-town feel to the suburb, busy and prosperous. A swing towards the river, and less salubrious environs took me to Seething Wells, my home until Sunday. I'm not sure what this place was: the remaining original buildings point to either places of worship or waterworks - the filter beds beside the river perhaps suggesting the later. Now it is a complex of anonymous yellow student flats - found mine and settled in. Not luxury by any means, but clean and safe flats with en suite facilities but curiously poor mobile telephone reception. Unpacked before heading back to the Surbiton Flyer for a well-earned pint or two of Fullers' Discovery. Struck up a talk with a local who was pleasant and talkative, but it turned out it was my discarded newspaper she was mostly interested in. Settled instead to planning my route to the Penrhyn Road campus of Kingston University. I think, if the weather remains so seasonable, that I will set out early when it's cooler and walk to the campus taking breakfast on the way.
How can people not understand that this is my holiday?
I've had a home on the web for more years than I care to remember, and a few kind souls persuade me it's worth persisting with keeping it updated. This current incarnation of the site is centred around the blog posts which began back in 1999 as 'the daylog' and continued through my travels and tribulations during the following years.
I don't get out and about nearly as much these days, but I do try to record significant events and trips for posterity. You may also have arrived here by following the trail to my former music blog Songs Heard On Fast Trains. That content is preserved here too.