Tag Archives: Forest Hill

Murkier Mistical Tour / Curmudgeons Ahoy! (79/80)

Post 79 of 80. Wednesday 11 December (11/12/13) – Woodgrange Park (Square C9 on the Tube map), Wood Green (A6), Wood Lane (D3), Woodside Park (C9)

I get to Forest Hill station almost two hours later than I’d planned earlier this morning. I catch the 10.49 a.m. Overground northwards. There are a number of silver linings – the heavy murky blanket of mist is lifting, the sun is coming through, the air is fresh, the Albion Millennium Green looks splendid – all in all, the makings of a perfect winter’s day. Plus this is the last consecutively-numbered day now for ninety years – how mystical-mathematical is that!

Mist lifting over the Albion Millennium Green. 'Labyrinth' by Maria Strutz in the foreground.

Mist lifting over the Albion Millennium Green. ‘Labyrinth’ by Maria Strutz in the foreground.

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Tears Before Bedtime (71/80)

Post 71 of 80. Friday 1 November  – Walthamstow Central (Square B8 on the Tube map), Walthamstow Queen’s Road (B8), Wandsworth Road (E4), Wanstead (B8), Wanstead Park (B8)

Some titles for posts come as flashes of inspiration during visits or suggest themselves shortly afterwards, but for other … I get no further: The Inner Curmudgeon is up and at me. Others, Craig, he says, are acts of desperation or plain muddle-headedness! … I acknowledge the truth of this and continue. But for other posts, a number of titles fit. Today’s, for instance, could equally well be called Fellowship is Life or Scenes of Dickensian Life or The Most Beautiful Waitress in London or Doppelgangers!   Continue reading

Of Beauty, Change and Loss (67/80)

Tuesday 8 October  – Temple (Square D5 on the Tube map), Theydon Bois (A8), Tooting Bec (F4), Tooting Broadway (F4), Tottenham Court Road (C5)

It’s a glorious autumn day but I really don’t want to go out. My muscles are aching from my recent over-strenuous gardening but that’s only a part of it. It’s more that I really really don’t want to drag my carcass around the Tube. Not today, not this week, not this year. Come on! I’ve visited over three hundred stations. What more is there to discover about London and its neighbourhoods? Surely I’ve run the gamut of human emotion – or as much of it as I’m going to run?

It’s his own stupid fault, Dear Readers, The Inner Curmudgeon chips in. And it’s not the first time. He’s a serial offender. ‘Over-strenuous gardening’! My Giddy Aunt!   Continue reading

How The Luggage Got Its Wheels (66/80)

Thursday 3 October  – Sudbury Hill (Square B2 on the Tube map), Sudbury Town (B2), Surrey Quays (E7), Swiss Cottage (B4), Sydenham (F6)

Perhaps the single redeeming feature of TubeforLOLs – assume for the present, Dear Readers, even if only for the sake of argument, that there is a redeeming feature – is that it opens the door to chance: chance happenings, chance encounters. The narrow patterns of life are jostled by the random. The universe shuffles the dice and a new – even if only slightly different – pattern emerges. New meanings arise, new stories need to be constructed. And thus it is today …  Continue reading

A Three Pipe Problem (52/80)

Wednesday 14 August – Northolt (Square B1 on the Tube map), North Wembley (B3), Northwick Park (B3), Northwood (A2), Northwood Hills (A2), Norwood Junction (F6)

After the ups and downs of the last two posts – in the former a sense of achievement, in the latter the inevitable anti-climax – I have sought succour in the pearls of wisdom that Alexis-Charles-Henri Clérel de Tocqueville strewed so plentifully in his follow-up to Democracy in America, his masterful Cheesemaking in France: ‘When approaching a truly resplendent Morbier, one must savour it bite by bite.’ I will do likewise. I will focus not on the journey but stop by stop.

Today, for instance, I will ignore the long pointless travelling between Northolt (way out north west on the Central line), North Wembley (way out north west on the Bakerloo) and Northwick Park (way out north west on the Metropolitan). The latter two stations are probably but a mere roll of a Double Gloucester away from each other, but do I Caerphilly? And so what if I see the inside of Baker Street station more times than there are holes in an Emmental? Hah! I wave my Stinking Bishop at all its ten platforms!   Continue reading

Rivers of Babylon (51/80)

Monday 12 August – New Cross Gate (Square E6 on the Tube map), North Acton (C2), North Ealing (C2), Northfields (D1), North Greenwich (D8), North Harrow (E7)

It’s another warm, sunny day. Maria has repaired her Labyrinth on the Albion Millennium Green. The pet food manufacturer is making canned fish mush for cats. It smells disgusting. The guys at the skip depot are banging skips on top of each other – a cloud of builder’s dust shrouds the railway path. Just another normal day at Forest Hill.

My elation and sense of achievement at reaching Mornington Crescent (see last post, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue) have dissipated, disappeared, gone. They’re toast, history, late. I imagine this is how my name-sake, Alexander the Great, must have felt after conquering the Persian Empire. At least Alexander had India ahead of him. I’ve got to make do with New Cross Gate.   Continue reading

Labyrinths (49/80)

Monday 29 July – Marble Arch (Square C4 on the Tube map), Marylebone (C4), Mile End (C7), Mill Hill East (A5), Monument (D6), Moorgate (C6), Moor Park (A2)

I’m walking through the Albion Millennium Green on my way to Forest Hill station. It’s been three months since the LEAF festival (see post The Walrus and the Curmudgeon) but one of the installations, Labyrinth by Maria Strutz, remains – though a little the worse for wear. It’s a walkable sculpture with pebbles, stones and twigs marking the pathways of a maze.

Whenever I’m not in a hurry, I pause and muse, spend the time of day with it. It’s a friendly labyrinth, unlike some. I’ve always been fascinated by labyrinths – the labyrinths of time, of myth, of memory, of life – and their patterning, their ritual and repetition. But for the first time the thought breaks through the labyrinth of my frontal cortex – is TubeforLOLs a labyrinth? Will I defeat the minotaur at the centre, will I find the one route out? Or will I be like Ben Gunn, marooned on Treasure Island, aching for parmesan cheese?   Continue reading