Monday, April 22, 2019
Crystal Palace to Balham
I walked another segment of the Capital Ring yesterday, from Crystal Palace to Balham in South London. I'm guessing I went six or seven miles.
The weather was spectacular. I couldn't have asked for a better day. I even felt the need to wear sunscreen!
I came across a groovy blue Ford Galaxie 500 parked on a side street -- from what I can tell online it looks like an early '60s model. And here's the weird thing...
...it's from Oklahoma!
Wouldn't you love to know how a Galaxie from Oklahoma wound up in London?
I found more squawky parakeets in Biggin Hill Wood. These two were nesting or mating or something, I think. They seemed very cozy with each other.
I passed Norwood Grove, a house built in the 1840s that is now owned by Croydon Council. It sits on a hill with an amazing view of the surrounding countryside.
And I visited the Rookery Gardens, a formal garden built on the site of a guesthouse where Queen Victoria reportedly stayed to "take the waters" at the three springs at Streatham Spa. There were fountains and pergolas and plantings of tulips, and this arch carved into a gigantic set of shrubs. (I didn't see where that path went!)
I found the grooviest, most psychedelic pub in the world in Streatham.
This gives a whole new meaning to the term "banana seat."
Somebody had a rough night.
Finally, winding through the residential neighborhoods near Tooting Bec Common, I passed this amazing Moorish building. Turns out it's a water-pumping station, built in 1888! Oh for the days when our public utilities were willing and able to put so much effort into a structure!
I ended the walk in Balham, when the path crossed right near a tube station. I had to get home to help Dave get ready for a visitor last night -- his old college fraternity brother Randy, who was passing through London. (He told funny stories about introducing himself to British people by saying enthusiastically, "I'm Randy!" In England, of course, "randy" has a meaning that could be quite startling to some people.) We hung out in the back garden and went to the local pub for dinner, and he endeared himself to Olga by playing Kong with her. By the end of the evening she was resting her head on his lap, clearly smitten.