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Monday, August 16, 2010

The Day of the Fox

Slept well and woke at 8AM for breakfast which I could smell. Perhaps it was the cooking of Mrs Steel that woke me. Fresh strawberries, granola, and toast with cranberry juice started my day. I decided I'd walk to Brixton Market via Kennington Park. Set out by 930 on a cool cloudy day. I was wearing my shorts and tee shirt, with my hoodie.

The park was filled with children and dogs. A camp of soccer players were on the playing field and the elders occupied the benches around the gardens. A lovely park. When I exited the far side, I spied a dead fox next to a dustbin. I was stunned.

The walk down Brixton Road was delightful as I found the homes lovely and the shops of African, Jamaican, and Carib makeup. Lots of renovation of many buildings of residence which is a good sign, methinks. I spied a delightful road to my right with a quaint church at its end, so I walked down this road which found me on Stockwell Road.

I stopped in a bike shop for a map which they were out of. Bikes have really taken over this city. The bike lanes are clearly marked, respected and filled with bikers commuting and exercising. There is quite a push to make this city more bike friendly. Perhaps we will see more of this in NYC too. The bikers are more friendly and respectful here. They use signals and observe the traffic lights. NYC bikers could take note of this, too. Once I got to Brixton, the empty roads I was traveling became a mob of people. The market was just left passed the railroad trestle. What a maze of shops. Fresh fish, meats, vegetables separated by pots and pans, socks and underwear, suitcases, jewelry, CD's, sheets and linens, and cell phones. Everything was for sale and there were more than one shop so you could check prices and haggle. Do you have a locked cell phone? No problem they will unlock it. The maze of shops is all around the railroad trestle, under it, all along Electric road (aptly named), and weaving everywhere. It is a festival of languages. I heard so many tongues and saw so many buyers at the food shops buying in bulk and for themselves. It is quite obvious that this is a place cooks shop as they had baskets of helpers to carry the purchases.

The bus stop was crowded with people carrying their loot as others made their way to the underground. I hopped on a 59 bus and enjoyed the views from the front seat of the upper deck along Brixton Road past my B&B to Lambeth Road, where I exited. I walked down Lambeth towards the Thames and the Garden Museum.

I stopped at Hercules Road for a cafe latte and sweet. After passing under the Waterloo train trestle, I strolled into the Archbishop's Park to find a father with his two sons practicing cricket in a type of batting cage. I returned to Lambeth Road to continue my way to the garden museum.

The museum is in an old church and is well appointed. The graveyard serves as a learning area about gardens. The opening video is about the railroads and early gardens in London. The museum has a great exhibition about gardeners and of tools. The walking sticks that served as pruners, weeders, and the like were absolutely fascinating as was the cucumber straightener. Once in the garden I was taken by the organization around the graves and by the one of Captain Bligh and his wife in the center of things.

The main garden featured a knot garden hedge that served as a divider. It was set up in sections and allowed for other plantings in the spaces provided. On one of the plaques explained how a fox in 2003, had done some damage the the hedge because this variety of hedge was an aphrodisiac to the fox. Eventually the fox was found dead in the park and the damage to the hedge ceased.

Upon leaving the museum I followed the Thames to the Brunel Musuem. At Blackfriar's Bridge, I picked up a basket of fruit (two apricots, two apples, a pear, an orange, a plum) for one pound. Along the way I passed the multi lingual tourists, the parade of joggers, and entertainers of all types. As always when I got to the London Eye, the mass of humanity was crazy. Once past the Globe, the crowds thinned out till I got near the Mayor's testicle, City Hall. Once past Tower Bridge, the path was empty.

When I got to the Mayflower Pub, I stopped for a pint and relaxed my feet and body on the balcony overlooking the Thames. A quick stroll to the overland to catch a train to conect me to the Jubilee line that connected me to the Northern line returned me to Kennington. Upon returning to the B&B, I collected my laptop, took the Magner cider I bought on the way home and put on my flipflops to retire to the garden to write my day's adventures.

When I mentioned my encounter of the fox in Kennington and the Museum garden to Mrs Steel, she mentioned the fox problem they had in their garden. Today was certainly the day of the Fox for me. It is 5PM. I must shower, have dinner and set off for tonight's entertainment, The Merry Wives of Windsor.


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