Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Out And About , Slowly

Sonata :
It's my last day in London , so I'm off to have a wander .
I've got a bruise the size of a demi-tasse saucer on my right foot , where I stubbed my toe last week , so I'm positively ambling along at the moment . But it's quite handy really . It makes people watching better .
Yesterday , on my way to the bus , I was overtaken by a tartan shopping trolley , pulled by an extremely elderly woman in an outsize t-shirt with " Don't call me John . I'm Juan " printed on the front . She'd got it tucked into skin tight jeans pulled up to her armpits and she was wearing lime green baseball boots with no laces . I suddenly felt dowdy .
A young woman in wooly hat and pixie boots zig-zagged past with a huge pink wheelie suitcase . She was carrying an empty white ornamental bird cage , holding it on high like Florence Nightingale's lamp .
I had lunch in El Rincon Quiteno ( sorry about the missing tilde , can't find it ) in the Holloway Road and , while I enjoy their delicious vegetable soup and chargrilled pork chops , shamelessly listen to the other customers . Two men nearby are having the usual "Take the A4 as far as ... " conversation . " Well " , said one , " I won't be doing that again . I ended up going faster and faster , like a bear running down a hill ."
An expansive chap rushed in for a sandwich . He looked round at us all . " I've been all around the world . Greenwich . The West End ..." . The Ecuadorian owner looked unimpressed .
The discussion at the next table trickles ever onwards , " I don't get it , we started off with ten each . Then Kiesha gave me back that £2 , then we got chips and Taylor wanted a drink , and I only fancied a coffee and you had an ice cream , but it costs £4 to get into the pool so Kiesha needed a pound and .... Anyway , where's that 10 p. come from , then? " Friend looks as lost as me .
So now I'm off to Hampstead . I think . Or Notting Hill . I want to see "Arriety" later .
Anyway I'll decide at the bus stop .
P.S. The rioting stopped by the middle of last week , fortunately . Now it's the cleanup and people are being urged to shop in affected areas to support local businesses. There do seem to be more police about , though . Not necessarily a bad thing .

11 comments:

rachel said...

The joys of overhearing conversations! The ones around me are in a Somerset accent which adds to the pleasure. Last week: "It's not moy (my) place to criticoise (criticise) your woife (wife). You do a good enough job of that yourself."

Hope the foot heals up soon.

Fran said...

I'd love to know the background to the birdcage story!

Tania said...

If you like, I shall periodically refer to you as Juan and then you can feel 'more colourful' (without the extreme discomfort of skin tight jeans pulled up to the armpits).

Poor foot.

June said...

I find that I enter into (sotto voce) overheard conversations. Yesterday I was doing that and suddenly thought, "What if I am insane and, in reality, I'm shouting?"
The inside of my head is sometimes like the pedestrians you saw yesterday, all mismatched and oddly arranged.

Rattling On said...

I long to be that lady with the shopping trolley. I am far too conformist though.
Once we were driving very early in the morning to catch a ferry. On the outskirts of one large city we passed an elderly lady jogging along at the side of the road. She was wearing nothing but a baggy t-shirt and wellington boots. Nothing...

Marcheline said...

Is Notting Hill anything as quaint as the movie by the same name?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Rattling On , She was jogging in wellington boots ? Hasn't she heard of stress fractures ?
Marcheline , Bits of it are indeed quaint .... but Hugh Grant doesn't have a shop there. Pity !
Juan .

Loz and Dinny said...

Juan, there is nothing better than a bit of random ... a nice giggle apres riot non giggle - please take care of other foot.

Friko said...

I'd have loved to join you. Next time you come, tell me and I'll come up to people watch and earwig with you.

I do so miss London.

Liz said...

Great listening opportunities!

I suspect you looked far more chic than dowdy!

And haven't we all had those money conversations when it comes to paying a shared bill?

Planet Penny said...

I'm really bad at eavesdropping conversations. In fact, if we sit next to a loud table in a restaurant OH and I find our own conversation tales off as we earwig like mad, communicating with each other only by waggling eyebrows and muffled sniggers. (You have to make your entertainment in rural Norfolk!)