Monday, 16 November 2009

The Number 43 Route

Monday 16 November 2009
Linda's in Hamburg and Mary is in Uganda, so I was alone as I boarded the 43 at London Bridge, heading towards Friern Barnet. A 10.30 start, and it was immediately clear that traffic going south was faring worse than us. The river was looking spectacular in bright sunshine, with views of HMS Belfast, and Tower Bridge having its facelift.

Traffic in the City was much less slow than the last time we were here. I noted that City firms, like us and many London residents, had gone for cyclamen and winter pansies in their window boxes. Following Tim's 'Hitch-hiker's Guide' comment on the 42, I was tickled to see a branch of the former Halifax converted into a 'Rush' hairdressers. The telephone sanitisers will be next.

Up past Finsbury Square, and then we were along the City Road, finally losing the 141 with which we had been in convoy, and passing Moorfields Eye Hospital to reach the Angel and head along Upper Street. I saw a double-decker 38 on its way south: can it be that Boris is really phasing out the bendies? We do know Upper Street quite well by now: the mixture of posh shops and eateries, the Almeida and the Town Hall, noted for its Farmers' Market on Sundays. Also a shop called Fettered Pleasures (only follow the link if you are an adult...)

Along the Holloway Road we passed the handsome building that houses the National Youth Theatre. At this stage the nice person sitting next to me rescued my notebook, which had slid to the floor, asked if I was planning a school trip, and got the whole story. She said that she was moving out of London, and usually sat downstairs on buses: so I recommended the front top when she next visited! various agencies in Islington are demolishing and building in several places.

As we headed towards Muswell Hill we passed a Blue Plaque for Peter Sellers, put up by the Dead Comics Society, not EH, and then a Pizza place where a chef was working on an enormous lump of dough. The handsome buildings of Muswell Hill are a reminder that this area has always been quite prosperous.

The Parish Church of St Peter le Poer was built in Friern Barnet with money raised from selling the old Church in the City of London. I can't discover if this is a nickname or a different Peter from the New Testament one. We were now into Friern Barnet, and arrived at the terminal, just oppostite the library, well within the 78 minutes announced.

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