Flew in yesterday with Easy Jet, nice flight and on time for once. Walked for miles and miles in Gatwick just to get to passport control and then another eternity to arrive in The South Terminal to get the train to Clapham Junction. Met by my lovely cousin Rosy, sun shining Lettie her dog excited about seeing me suggested we should take her on a doggie walk and off we went to Battersea Park for a green grass and autumn tree walk to start off my sejour in London.
The pretty bandstand and the avenue of trees walking away from us.
Lettie chasing squirrels. She never caught one, she tried so hard and couldn’t quite believe that yet another one managed to get up the tree. But ever hopeful she kept trying!
This morning I went oyster card in hand and caught the 137 bus from Clapham Common to Hyde Park. I loved it, I rode on the upper deck and memories came flooding in. Good ones. I have often felt like a stranger in England I have lived abroad for so long. But today, this visit, I feel so at home. As the bus was approaching Sloane Square, I saw my old primary school Garden House. I went there when I was all but three years old, often riding in my dad’s bicycle basket and my elder sister on her little bike.
We went past the garden square where we all held hands and danced in a circle. Ring a ring a roses a pocket full of Posies’ Why were little children singing a song about th Black Death, why did we happily all fall down? Then around Sloane Square and past the building that used to be The General Trading Company where I ran the Cafe/Restaurants when I was 22 years old. Past Peter Jones where I used to go with mum and have strawberry ice cream in scratched silver goblets and grey leather chairs. I felt like such a big girl.
Then of course I rode all over London on my bike and of course I rode it round Hyde Park thousands of times and then today I got off the 137 at Hyde Park Corner and walked down to the Royal Academy. Past the Ritz, past Bond Street, past Fortnum and Masons past many memories, past me on my bike, past old jobs and old loves.
I decided to see the Jasper John exhibition there, I was fascinated I am still digesting it. I haven’t given myself much time to think about it. An hour later I got on the number 19 bus and went back to Sloane Square to meet my friend David for a quick lunch at Daphne’s in Draycott Avenue. Of course, now a clothes shop, another place I used to chef in, Draycott’s wine bar. Hey ho. Then a good stomp to an art shop near to Chelsea Fire Station. Back on the bus and back here. I couldn’t resist it. I hade to paint.
Here is my version of my cousin’s pretty and colourful autumn flower bed which I painted this afternoon.
Tomorrow I am off to the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea. A bientôt.