Monday, February 5, 2018

An Emu, and Other Surprises

Olga and I made up for her lack of walking on Saturday by taking two long outings yesterday.

First, in the morning, we walked up through Childs Hill and Cricklewood, north of where we live. While we were walking along Cricklewood Lane, a man with at least two bright metal teeth called out to me from a shiny black car: "Excuse me! That's a beautiful dog!"

I thanked him, and hearing my accent, he asked where I was from. And then, apropos of nothing, he asked if I knew of a massage place nearby. No, I said, but I pointed him toward Cricklewood Broadway, figuring if there was one, it would be there among all the other shops.

Then he very kindly offered to sell me cocaine, but I politely declined, it being only 8 a.m. (Among many other reasons.) I didn't want to offend him, so I was all smiles, saying "Oh, no, but thank you so much!" As if he'd offered me a cupcake.

And then I got the heck out of there.

In the afternoon, Olga and I went to Hampstead Heath, where these photos were taken. As usual, Olga had a great time chasing critters and leaping over logs. (There seem to be quite a few fallen trees on the West Heath these days -- I wonder if the windstorms last month did some damage? Or have they been there all along, and I'm seeing them more clearly now that the undergrowth has died back?)

It is wet and muddy out there, people! A good portion of our walk involved slogging along paths like this one.

Weirdly, I came across this creature in Golders Hill Park. (It was in an enclosure, not just wandering around, but still...) Google confirms that it is apparently an emu.

While the dog and I were walking, Dave worked on the garden, pruning the roses and the buddleia and getting a few other things ready for spring. Some of our plants are already budding, and the daffodils are well on their way to blooming. I saw my first daffodil of the season, in fact, walking Olga yesterday morning -- and crocuses, too. Spring is coming!


  1. Yes. Not many people want to buy cocaine at eight o'clock in the morning. Far too early. What is your preferred time for cocaine buying?

  2. Olga's photo today is enchanting. It looks like she's sending ripples of dogness out into the day, which is a very fine thing that dogs do. If not for her, you probably would not have bothered to make an outing on such a gray and dismal day, and would not have seen an emu or have had a story to bring home. Isn't cocaine passé these days?

  3. As if the question about where to get a massage at eight in the morning wasn't bizarre enough!
    I would have been the same as you, though, about declining the coke offer. Very, very polite.
    And all of this on a Sunday!
    My sensibilities are well shocked!

  4. The guy you met was just plane creepy. No wonder you got out of there.

  5. What a totally creepy encounter you had. Stopping strangers on the street seems like an odd way to build his customer base. And to top that off, another encounter. This time with an emu. Life in the big city has so much to offer.

  6. Two interesting encounters. I definitely prefer the emu to the creepy stranger.

  7. What a weird encounter you had. In my head, I've already made up ten stories about that guy. Definitely the right move to get the heck out of that dodgy circumstance. I look forward to seeing your spring garden!

  8. I can't believe that daffodils bloom up there before they do down here. there's just something wrong about that. a couple of streets over (there's only about 5 in the whole neighborhood) someone has an emu. I guess they still do. it's been several years since I have walked down that far.

  9. England is so civilized, i.e. the dealer complimenting your dog before making his offer!

  10. Polite drug dealers and a very large bird, only in London! Springtime has not even whispered here, we are inundated with buckets of rain, weeks on end, flooding, power outages, cold damp dark , but people still think this is the most beautiful area in which to live, if you can call it that...Olga sure has great parents! One lucky girl!

  11. You really do have some of the most interesting walks! I think I would have responded politely to the guy in the car, but I would definitely have been totally freaked out. I might have been alarmed by the emu too - what if it was aggressive? Clearly I'm not cut out for city living!

  12. Ack - I hate it when people who could easily be dangerous (and they know it) try to ingratiate themselves to carry out their nefarious plans . . . one must be polite to save one's hide, but one would rather laugh incredulously and dial the police . . . I'm glad no harm came to you.

    I wonder why the park has a single emu. And I wonder if it gets lonely.

    And I just pruned back our buddleia last week because I didn't get to it in the fall, but it won't be doing anything interesting until April or May at the earliest. We really have different growing conditions, I must say!