Sunday, April 21, 2024

Friends and Strangers

Another busy day yesterday, spent almost entirely off the computer. Obviously I blogged in the morning and answered some comments, but after that I didn't subject myself to the digital realm. Life like it used to be! We all need it now and then.

I got some laundry going and took Dave's concert tux to the cleaners. On the way back, I passed the abandoned street sign, still standing forlornly on a nearby corner where it's been for the last six months or so. You may remember I tried bringing this sign to the attention of the authorities in several ways, reporting it both to the local roads authority and to the rubbish collectors. It disappeared into bureaucratic limbo with the former and the latter said they couldn't do anything about it.

So I thought, "I am going to do something about this *#$@% sign." I picked the whole thing up -- easel, sandbag and all -- and carried it up the hill, around the corner and down the hill again to a traffic island near West End Green where the council has installed large bins for recycling.

And I left it there.

Because this is a much busier area, frequented by public works employees, my hope is it will be noticed and disposed of properly. (Yes, I cheekily left it in front of a "No Dumping" sign, but I don't see how this could be called dumping since it's government property in the first place.)

Anyway, then I came home and mowed the lawn.

Here's Olga gamely (and stiffly) chasing her Kong toy through the newly mowed grass. She definitely doesn't move with the ease and energy of her youthful self. I used to be able to wing that Kong long distances and she would take off after it like a shot. I think she still wants to, on some level, but her body is telling her, "Why?!"

Don't you love our little patch of unmowed meadow with all the teasel plants? I can't wait to see how it looks this summer.

Finally I went into town to meet some friends for a theater outing. We went to see a musical called "Two Strangers (Carry a Cake Across New York)." It's a terrific show with two charming and energetic performers, and I enjoyed it a lot -- especially with all the New York references, having lived there for ten years. The set was amazing -- two piles of suitcases that stayed on stage the entire time, but rotated and became a hotel room, a restaurant, a nightclub and other venues. Brilliant! I hope the show goes far.

Afterwards I went to dinner with my former boss, who's running in the London marathon today. She's been substituting for several months at school for another librarian who was out on maternity leave, but now that gig is up and she's returning to the states on Tuesday. Who knows whether I'll ever see her in person again. She invited us to come and see her in Minnesota but Dave and I are never in that part of the country so I don't see it as very likely. A strange thought.

(Photos, both taken yesterday: A Soho doorway, top, and crowds on Regent Street, bottom.)


David said...

Ah, a very familiar part of Regent Street. My dad worked in a building at the very end of your photograph. I often walked that part of the street when I was in my mid-teens, usually running to catch the train at Piccadilly Circus. Oh what memories! But where's the traffic? Have they banned all cars, buses and taxis from Regent St these days?

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Shifting that street sign with its sandbag will surely have been caught by CCTV cameras. It is only a question of time before the police knock on your door and you receive a summons to court. But you are not all bad! After all, you have given Olga a good life. Perhaps you can use this point in mitigation.

Bob said...

I was kinda feeling like Yorkshire; I think you may have been spotted ... but, you were just cleaning up the city, no?

Boud said...

Olga and forgetmenots! I'm beginning to get to know your garden. I sympathize with how she's moving, too!

Ms. Moon said...

Well, good for you for taking that sign and its attending props to a place where someone may deal with it at long last.
Or they won't.
When I see how Olga walks, I feel it in my very own hips and legs. Bless her sweet old heart!
Glad you got out for some culture! Even better that you really enjoyed it.

Ellen D. said...

What a sweet video of Olga. I like has she wags her tail as she's going after the toy and then holds onto it so she doesn't have to chase it down again. Smart girl!

Pixie said...

I see you caught Bernie Sanders in London, in that top photo. Well done:)

It's lovely to see Olga enjoying herself, even stiff legged. She landed in a good home.

Sharon said...

Smart move with that street sign. Hopefully, that will get someone to do something about it.
The garden is looking so green and lush. Olga is looking good. I can relate to her slower moves.
I'm not sure how you captured that Regent Street shot without any cars or busses. Pretty amazing.

ellen abbott said...

you made me laugh, hauling that street sign to the recycle container. why did it bother you so much? I expect it will still be by the container another 6 months from now.

poor Olg. definitely not the spry and quick pup she used to be. why run indeed. it will still be there.

Kelly said...

Bless her heart. Olga clearly still loves her Kong, which has definitely seen better days! I moaned a little with her as she eased herself to the ground to chew on it.

Allison said...

Good job on moving the abandoned sign. It's amazing how simple things vanish in to the morass of bureaucracy. Your back garden is so beautiful, very lush and green.

Red said...

Your outing with friends is well worth it. It's sad that when You really think about it that you will never see this person again. we are too global.

Margaret said...

It's good that you took action on the sign; it would have bugged me too! Olga is like me, thinking that I should still be able to run or do extensive yard work, but then wondering "Why?"

gz said...

That is a lovely colourful welcoming doorway! What lies behind the doors I wonder

Wilma said...

Steve - you are too funny carrying that sign down the street! I like how that is such a characteristic aspect to your personality. And what Pixie said about Bernie in London.

J said...

Dear old Olga
I have been looking at her for some years

WendyAnn said...

My question is the same as David's - I used to work at the Oxford street end of Regent street. It was always so lively and busy.
Wendy (Wales)

The Bug said...

That DID look like Bernie Sanders! Ha! And your yard is just so very lovely.

Susan said...

Taking the sign to the dumpster location is a great move. Surely they can not ignore it now. Olga is trim and fit. If her joints are a bit stiff, you can buy Coco and Luna, Hip & Joint (joint support & mobility) from Amazon. I buy this for my dog and it really helps.

Ed said...

You should visit Minnesota. The North Shore area is quite spectacular.

Catalyst said...

Olga does definitely look to be showing her age but she still maintains ownership of her toy.

Sad to think you will just cut off your friendship with the Minnesota bound colleague. There's a lot to see in Minnesota.

Debby said...

Your act of 'civil disobedience' makes me laugh. It is so 'you'! I love it!

For whatever reason I really love that last photo!

River said...

Olga is definitely slower but still moving at least.
I love that curved street. Why don't we have those in Australian cities?
The play sounds interesting.

Steve Reed said...

David: I don't know why there's no traffic, to be honest. I didn't even notice! (Except that there was a lot of sunlight not being blocked by buses!)

YP: Seriously, let them come and summons me. I think I can make a pretty good argument for doing what I did!

Bob: Exactly! How could they charge me with dumping when it's public property?

Boud: I was impressed she even wanted to try to play. Sometimes she'll have none of it.

Ms Moon: Even if they don't, at least it won't be sitting on my street!

Ellen D: Yeah, you could tell from her tail she was very excited to be playing!

Pixie: He DOES look like Bernie Sanders! Also like a guy I used to work with.

Sharon: It was just lucky timing, I'm sure. Or maybe the street was closed. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't even notice!

Ellen: I just hated walking past it every day and knowing it served no purpose and would never get collected. I couldn't stand it!

Kelly: Well, she has three Kongs, and that's the most bedraggled one!

Allison: And it's frustrating when you're trying to call someone's attention to it and they simply WILL NOT PAY ATTENTION!

Red: That's what Facebook is for! I'm fine with long-distance friendships, though I do have some old friends in Florida that I wish I could see more frequently.

Margaret: Her brain says yes but her body says no!

GZ: I don't know! I'd never seen it before. It must be newly painted.

Wilma: I do have a very strong sense of, "If you want something done, you have to do it yourself!" (Except where my own house is concerned. Then I call the landlord. :D )

J: She's still with us and doing amazingly well for a 13- or 14-year old!

WendyAnn: Yeah, I honestly am not sure what was happening. I think there have been plans to pedestrianise some areas of Oxford Street and Piccadilly Circus, so maybe the road was temporarily closed for the weekend?

Bug: We like it!

Susan: Oh, good to know! We give her something called YouMove, pills that contain fish oil. I'm not sure they help but they surely don't hurt and she thinks they're treats.

Ed: Hopefully one of these days! That's where my ex-boss is living, in the northern part of the state.

Catalyst: Well, we're friends on Facebook so I'll see her there!

Debby: A very, very small act of civil disobedience. LOL

River: It's a very scenic street even by London standards!

Jeanie said...

The show sounds really fun! I love a good musical. I hope it is still playing when we finally get there!

Please keep us posted on the fate of the sign!