We had to trot across the road from our 37, since the 14 drew away from its space as our bus pulled in. So there was no time to enjoy the pleasant ambience of Putney heath, so different from the grim North Finchley dungeon of last week. And off we went, at 11.25
We did, however, have time to scan the scenery of Putney, because we were following the truck that empties the litter bins. At first we followed the route of our 37, with the difference that we were not looking straight into the sun, on this lovely day.
We passed Putney High School for Girls, and wondered if they were pleased with the wood cladding on one of their several extensions: did it perhaps need a coat of cuprinol?
We liked the thought of the Gentle Dental Practice, and we were also taken with the sundial on the wall of a building. It was put up for the Millennium, but we could not quite work out how it would catch the sun, given to obstructions around it.
We were able to catch a glimpse of the blue plaque for Algernon Swinburne, a poet not much studied or even read these days. Here's his Ballad of Death, so you can see why he's not on every GCSE syllabus.
The traffic was slow as we passed Putney Station, and came to the Spotted Horse Pub. Such horses are normally known as piebald, but spotty is, after all, what they are
The nearby Wagamama continued the spotty theme, though that might have been the building, not the eatery.
We saw the wittily named Band of Barbers, as well as another beauty shop, called, puzzlingly, Mortar and Milk. Their website has a lot about beauty, but nothing to explain the name.
The Slug Pub so dazzled us with the colour of its tiles that we did not notice if it was still in business. Apparently its speciality was South-of-the-equator customers, and here is a report from The South African suggesting it was closing. On the other hand, it appeared quite healthy to us, and if it had closed in 2009 it would be apartments by now.
The route takes you past Fulham Broadway Station, and the disused but huge town hall, and then we were in a place which is apparently known as the Chelsea Village, because it houses some football club or other. Given the Arsenal links of this family, you will not be expecting me to say more, though no doubt some people would recognise the wealthy young men on the roadside banners.
Oh, yes, you could tell we were in Chelsea, with substantial blocks of flats and innumerable furniture and fittings shops such as Breteuil. The Chelsea and Westminster Hospital was the first of several that we passed, and we squinted down Farrier Walk Mews, presumably once a place where workers plied their horse related trades. It was a great deal smarter than that now.
Two more Hospitals, the Brompton and the Royal Marsden, brought us into Kensington, past the locked and private square gardens like Onslow Garden, and then we were at South Kensington Station where, disconcertingly for some of our fellow passengers, the bus stop was closed. However smart Chelsea may be, this is the first time you can get on the tube other than the District Line.
The 14 heads on to turn right in front of the Natural History Museum, one of the many reminders of what a great profit the 1851 Great Exhibition made. There is a charming little skating rink outside it at the moment.
Slowly we ground our way to Hyde Park Corner, and then inched along Piccadilly, with Green Park looking attractive to our right and various smart restaurants and shops to our left.
After Green Park Station, the Ritz had wreaths in every arch, and Fortnum and Mason had wreaths everywhere! The overhead decorations were angels, or possibly fairies. All very Christmassy.
St James' Church has a beautiful Grinling Gibbons altar surround and is altogether as lovely as you would expect Christopher Wren's work to be, but of course we only saw the outside from our bus.
We also had time to watch a worker scraping the Santander red logo off the window of a disused branch of the bank, and to smile at the Snowman outside Waterstone's.