Tuesday, September 13, 2022
Give Me Shelter
Here's another photo from my walk on Sunday. This object stands beside the Thames near Hampton Court, and it's a bit of a mystery. There's been a lot of online speculation about what it is. This post, for example, simply calls it a "curious riverside structure." And in this discussion thread on a site for canal boaters, users guessed at its purpose to ridiculous effect.
I thought it was a ventilation shaft for a pedestrian or rail tunnel, though I knew of no such tunnel in that area. Finally, someone on that discussion board cleared up the mystery, as explained on this Geograph page: It's a ventilation shaft for a tunnel carrying a 24-inch gas main. Here's another photo, from May 2016 -- it's interesting that even that recently it didn't have handrails, so those must be a very recent addition. Some say it may also serve as a shelter for people walking the path or waiting for a ferry from a boatyard across the river.
In any case, it's pretty cool looking!
We are preparing for another onslaught from the Russians upstairs. They have a construction crew scheduled to arrive tomorrow, to work on a persistent leak in their roof and install some new windows. The workers are going to have to erect a scaffold on our patio. Dave yesterday moved aside a bunch of our plants, and I'm afraid our coltsfoot may simply be trampled because we can't really relocate that.
This is after the Russians spent Sunday drilling something upstairs with a very noisy concrete drill. When I came back from my walk it was grinding away and I asked Dave, "What IS that?" He said, "It's been going all day!" I feel like we live beneath Bob the Builder -- or maybe Vlad the Builder -- though I can't really blame them for wanting to fix a roof leak. That is a significant problem.
Another one of our sunflowers has opened. This plant is only about 18 inches tall, but it and several other smallish ones are apparently big enough to bloom, as they all have buds.
I took the last of my summer library books back to the library yesterday -- "Crossroads" by Jonathan Franzen. I didn't even read it. It's a huge book and it's been taunting me from the hall table for the last couple of weeks. I finally decided I just don't want to take that on right now. Maybe eventually. I always like Franzen's novels when I finally sit down and read them, but first I have a bunch of New Yorkers and some other stuff to get through.
We are having a terrible time finding someone to keep Olga over the Christmas holidays, when we go to Florida. The dog-sitter and kennel we've used before are already booked. I'm going to have to research some more options this week.