Sunday, March 26, 2023

Mortlake to Battersea Bridge

I finally, FINALLY had a chance to walk another segment of the Thames Path yesterday. It's been almost two months since I was out there last!

I picked up where I left off, in Mortlake, walking on the south shore of the river. You'll know some of these landmarks from my previous posts -- like the former Budweiser brewery above -- because when I walked the north shore I could see them across the water. This time I was directly beneath them.

The path was a mud-bog, we've had so much rain lately. I must have been passed by about a thousand joggers, all of whom splattered me as they galumphed past. But c'est la vie. It's March.

I passed a flock of swans napping on the riverbank, like abandoned sacks of laundry.

Dave is not a walker, as I've said in the past, so when I take these trips I do it alone. But I love walking by myself, just as I love driving by myself. I can just allow my brain to whirl in whichever direction it desires, I can talk to myself or hum songs, and I can go at my own pace, stopping whenever I want. I used to do the same when I lived in New York City -- I'd go walking for hours on my own. And in Florida, I'd go driving for hours.

It just goes to show that even if your life circumstances change, you can't not be yourself -- you know? My dad was like that too, happiest in his own company. And Dave is happiest in his recliner.

I did wish Dave was on hand when I passed this house, though. It's the former home of composer Gustav Holst, appropriately called Holst House, and now on the market for just £3 million! It doesn't look gigantic but surprisingly, it has six bedrooms. I showed the photos to Dave when I got home, so he experienced it virtually. We agreed to buy it. Ha!

Who says there's no more British Empire?

Here's the old Harrods furniture warehouse, now a block of flats, which I also saw back in October from the opposite bank of the river.

These might be the most stunning magnolia trees I've ever come across. You can barely see the house behind them, or the blue historic plaque marking it as the former home of Australian artist Sidney Nolan, famous for his "Ned Kelly" paintings.

The path led along the waterfront in Wandsworth Park, beneath huge over-arching plane trees.

I got a good view of all the new construction around the old Lots Road Power Station. This is the neighborhood where I reached a dead end on my walk along the north shore.

By this time I'd walked about six miles (I think?) and I crossed the Battersea Bridge and caught the bus home from the World's End estate in Chelsea. There's a bus that goes from there all the way across town practically to my front door. Talk about convenient!


sparklingmerlot said...

I do admire your commitment to walking and your photos, as always, are lovely. Sometimes when one walks alone one sees so much more than if chatting to a companion.

Andrew said...

The magnolias are stunning.
We have many plane trees here, but I've not seen any here with such a girth of trunk. The have been so well shaped too.
Six miles is about ten kilometres. That is one quite long walk and thank you for sharing it with us.

Frances said...

Is that really a magnolia? Amazing if it is but looks more like blossom! There always seems to be a frost when the magnolias flower and they turn brown overnight.
Re the of our local radio presenters ( Andy Collins) has got one of those in his lounge.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I, too, do lots of walks and explorations on my own and usually enjoy the time. This walk looks especially pleasant. And I'm so excited for you and Dave and your new house. And a bargain!

Rachel Phillips said...

I enjoyed the walk with you Steve and thank you for the background information too.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

I bet it felt good to walk those six miles and to see all the things you saw. With the rhythm of my footsteps, I like to reach a point where I am not really thinking about anything at all - just lost in the walk itself.

Bob said...

What a great walk. I, too, love a good solitary walk; I find it to be a source of meditation for me.

Linda Sue said...

Seems to me that walking alone is a keener way to observe, though I love walking with another who notices things that are not obvious to me. You are a fast walker, there is probably no one who would not slow you down. Six miles is quite a walk! Great photos as usual. I would love to buy that house- want to go in on it - halvesies?

Ellen D. said...

I like to walk too but don't go as far as you do. I often have a song in my head and walk to the beat to keep me moving.
Quite the unusual kitchen in that fancy home but I wouldn't want to live there so close to the street.

Boud said...

There's really a place called World's End? I thought it was only in novels, an invented neighborhood.
I love to walk alone, too, only a fraction of your distances, because I stop and observe and think and generally enjoy. I've discouraged a lot of people from trying to join me.

Ms. Moon said...

Walking alone is a joy. Looks like you had another great one.
I definitely think you should buy that house.

NewRobin13 said...

What a beautiful long walk you had there. I love seeing London through your eyes, Steve.

Jeanie said...

I admire your feet. I love to walk alone but not sure my feet or legs would make that one! It looks like a great walk this time -- everything from Holst to Magnolias! Very interesting territory.

I just read an article on the Thames Path and a new part opening in today's Londonist. You probably know all about this but here's the link.

Enjoy the day or what's left of it!

Margaret said...

I love walking by myself--at my own pace and without any pressure for conversation. It would be nice to be able to comment on some of what I see, but I can always do that that later from a photo, as you did. Those flowering trees are gorgeous! I'm starting to see them here now too.

Kelly said...

Great photos! I think my favorite is the swans. When you say Magnolia tree, I expect to see a Southern Magnolia. Those are beautiful, though.

gz said...

Such a wide range of subjects in a relatively short distance..thankyou!

Allison said...

Great walk. London is such a good place to walk and look at things. I miss living in Washington DC, which also was a good walking/looking place. Seattle was ok, but Spokane has not much to see.

Sharon said...

Another fabulous walk. I hope you didn't get too muddy. Interesting to find the storm trooper on the balcony. And, those shiny skyscrapers almost appear out of place there. That magnolia tree is stunning.

James and Brigitta said...

Those Magnolias are beyond gorgeous and I love that plane-lined river walk, it looks very inviting!
I like to walk by myself as well, I silently cringe when people invite themselves to come with .. well-intentioned, but no, thanks.
I had to look twice at the huge 'bird' on the rooftop of that high-rise :-)

The Bug said...

That whole walk was just gorgeous! As always, thanks for taking us along.

Ed said...

Excitement for me is walking a well known route backwards so I can see things from a different perspective! Although I don't think I could live in such a big urban environment and maintain my sanity, I would surely appreciate the ability to see new things easily up until I lost my sanity.

Red said...

I like to be out in the woods by myself. I had an isolated recreational property and liked to go out there by myself. There were very few people there.

Beth Reed said...

What a wonderful walk. I think that I would have loved to have been walking there and would love to stop and take my time seeing all the neat scenery and OHHH that house!!!
Maybe you and Dave should buy it lol. It is a lovely thought at any rate.

After the length of your walk, I believe that Dave was glad to have stayed home happily in his recliner. But I know what you mean about moving at your own pace and enjoying the time to let your mind just wander. I use to do that too.

I loved the photos of the swans sunning on the river bank. They do look a bit like bags of laundry lol.

Have a great week.

Steve Reed said...

Caro: I think that's another reason I like solitary walking. It lets me be more observant.

Andrew: I'm sure those are very old trees. Probably 100 years at least.

Frances: Yes, they are saucer magnolias. There are actually two trees, one to the left of the walkway and one to the right.

Mitchell: Right?! Pocket change!

Rachel: Glad you liked it. :)

YP: Yes! It does become meditative after a while, as we get lost in the repetitious movement.

Bob: Absolutely. I think about all kinds of things, but there's an element of "be here now" too.

Linda Sue: On the rare occasions when Dave and I DO walk together, he's actually faster than I am -- he has such long legs!

Ellen D: Yeah, it is a little close to the traffic, I agree.

Boud: Yes, it's a real place! It's a specific neighborhood in Chelsea. Our local bus is the "328 to Chelsea, World's End" (as the announcement always says).

Ms Moon: We could have a Holst-warming party. LOL

Robin: I'm glad!

Jeanie: Thanks so much for that link! I walked that part of the path last fall and remember that area well. I'll have to revisit!

Margaret: Yeah, the commenting comes here. I'm always collecting stories for the blog, as I collect photos.

Kelly: We have a few southern magnolia trees here and there, but for the most part they're the pink Japanese or saucer varieties.

GZ: The sights get more densely packed as we get farther into the city!

Allison: Yes, DC is a great walking town. I have friends who used to live in Northwest Washington and when visiting them I'd walk Connecticut Avenue all the way downtown.

Sharon: The skyscrapers do look weird, considering that power station was all alone just a few years ago!

James and Brigitta: Ha! It does look bird-like. I thought it was a helicopter, but it's actually just the top of a crane.

Bug: Glad you liked it!

Ed: Ha! Going crazy but enjoying the journey. :)

Red: Yeah, that's always nice too. I sort of get that on Hampstead Heath.

Beth: There's no doubt Dave was happy to stay home!

River said...

This was a lovely walk you took us on. The For Sale house is beautiful inside, all my favourite colours, and if you two bought it you wouldn't have to worry about The Russians upstairs anymore. Surely you can find the necessary 3 million? Dig deep behind the couch cushions, ha ha.