Monday 28 June 2010
After last week's adventures, it seemed tame to be meeting Linda at Victoria. Mary was on holiday in Wales, so it was just the two of us. Actually, the head stop was in Grosvenor Gardens, just past the statue of Marshal Foch, presumably because of the ongoing works in Victoria Station forecourt. We were on board shortly after 10.00.
Effectively, and give or take a few roundabouts, the route goes straight north until it reaches North Finchley. So we headed past Buckingham Palace Gardens, round Hyde Park Corner and up Park Lane. We glimpsed the Queen Mother's Gates and the Memorial for the animals killed in War, before getting to Marble Arch with very lovely red and white busy lizzies (or possibly petunias.) Was this patriotic planting to go with the w*rld c*p, if you'll excuse the mention? (Our trip was the day after England's last match)
We admired the terraces of Portman Square, noting that one houses the HQ of the League of Arab States
Sir Gerald Kelly. We were making rapid progress as there was a 13 ahead of us to pick up passengers, and we swept past Dorset Square and Marylebone Station to reach Lord's and then the Wellington Hospital with excellent, bright plants on its balconies. Once we got to Swiss Cottage, we craned our necks for the view of the back of Linda's school, and then we were up the Finchley Road and into the Borough of Barnet. We approved of Julian Pizza, Pasta and Carwash, which seemed to offer all that a man could desire (well, nearly) but does not appear to have a website for you to share.
Linda remembered that the 82 used to be a trolley bus when it brought her to her ballet lessons. The Shri Swaminarayan temple which uses an old church is less stunning to look at than their Neasden flagship, but we were interested to notice that it is still active. We also liked the wording on the Finchley War Memorial. But more exciting than that was College Farm where we saw three black, long horned cattle grazing, but could not get a picture.
Next we saw signs to the Middlesex County Cricket Club Academy, as well as a dry cleaners called 'Cleansleeves'. Then it was along past Dollis Park and Finchley Central Station, to reach North Finchley Bus Station at 11.05, just about an hour after setting off.