Post 74 of 80. Wednesday 13 November – Westbourne Park (Square C3 on the Tube map), West Brompton (D3), West Croydon (F6)
I’m viewing today as an amiable chunter around the Tube network, a day-trip to the seaside or country, if you like, except that I’ll gain not so much as a faraway glimpse of either the briny breakers or the beginning of the middle of nowhere. I’m tempted to take my AA Book Of The Seaside (First Edition, 1972) with me. As Don Quixote found, feasting on tales of chivalry is as good as, if not better than, doing the actual chivalry-business itself. But first I am using the excuse of Westbourne Park to visit nearby Golborne Road, one of my favourite London haunts. It gets better … Continue reading →
Tuesday 22 October – Turnham Green (Square D2 on the Tube map), Turnpike Green (D2), Upminster (B9), Upminster Bridge (B9), Upney (C9)
TubeforLOLs presents – perhaps, ‘throws up’ is a better expression – many philosophical questions. For instance, is there a Platonic ideal of a TubeforLOLs trip? Or is the Wittgensteinian notion of ‘family resemblance’ a better intellectual tool with which to get to grips with this alphabetic tube travelling? How can we reconcile the sheer pointlessness and boredom that is the hall-mark of TubeforLOLs with the fact that things, admittedly mainly pointless and boring things, do occasionally happen? Whatever. As today progresses – perhaps, ‘unravels’ is the mot juste – I begin to entertain hopes that this may turn out to be the quintessential TubeforLOLs trip. Continue reading →
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 →
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 →
Tuesday 6 August – Morden (Square F4 on the Tube map), MORNINGTON CRESCENT!!! (B5), Mudchute (E7), Neasden (B3), Newbury Park (B9), New Cross (E7)
Today’s the big day – the assault on Mornington Crescent. In preparation I have commandeered my son’s Hawaian shirt, enlisted my daughter as Official Photographer and single-handedly held at bay the bankruptcy of HMV by buying up their stocks of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue and Humphrey Lyttelton (Humph) CDs. The Wee Professor, as Chief Intelligence Officer, has been researching ISIHAC’s ‘game’ Mornington Crescent.
Coincidentally the post this morning brings a postcard from a Mrs Trellis of North Wales. The card shows the lido at Rhyl. Mrs Trellis writes: Why are you bothering with all those silly tube stations? Come to the seaside instead.
The Inner Curmudgeon is throwing skillets and saucepans at the kitchen wall. It’s totally ridiculous, he growls. Mornington Crescent! You’ll be lucky if 5% of your readers have heard of ISIHAC and Mornington Crescent. Continue reading →
Thursday 18 April – East Ham (Square C8 on the Tube map), East India (D8), East Putney (E3), Edgware (A4)
It’s a sad day when a man has to recycle his Tube map. Tattered and frayed though it may be, such a recyling tries the forbearance of good Christian men. I pause mid-way to the Recycling Bucket. I stay my hand and leave it on the shelf by the front door. I will recycle it with full honours on my return, commending its soul to the Lord as it returns to that great Tube Map In The Sky.
I walk out through the Albion Millennium Green a sadder but wiser man. Aristotle nailed it on the head when he talked about catharisis, about the purging effect of almost unbearable emotion, of terror and pity, and how this leads to inner renewal.
I pick up a copy of The Metro at Forest Hill station: The end, it announces. It continues: A chapter of history draws to a close as Baroness Thatcher makes her final journey. Ah! If only that was true … Continue reading →