Monday, 1 August 2011

Poggy's tail

If you've got a little spare cash...and that's a big IF these days isn't it?...I'd highly recommend a couple of books by Paul called Derelict London, and the other London's Lost Rivers. I can't say why the decay of one of the world's great cities holds such fascination for me, but it does, and both these books capture it well, mostly in pictures.

And I guess it's my fascination with seeing odd bits of London that means that when we took our guests into town this weekend we went a rather obscure car, tube, Light railway, boat and finally Shanksy's pony. They're English, but live in Berlin, so they are strangers in their own country, and it was interesting to hear how Queen2B and The Prince viewed this country...a lot more positively than any one else I know does. Even the Italian who sat next to me, was jabbering on about how marvelous our our public transport system is. Mind you, when you've got a slimy dirty old man in charge of your country, you can't expect all to be right can you? I guess that's the benefit of seeing in from the outside. It's not that I don't appreciate all the good things that England has, but there are just too many downsides too.

One of those moments, and I don't doubt that it is one that you had to be there to fully appreciate, was a story that Queen2B told, about how when she was much, much younger, she played with the children of a very upper class family. In true upper class fashion, they were all as mad as a box of frogs, and all the children had been given ridiculous nick names. I would recount them all, but a couple of glasses of wine has made me forget all except one - Poggy. Dear Poggy was evidently a sweet little girl, but unfortunately her bottom kept falling out. I don't mean she dropped her knickers or her trousers, I mean erm, err, erm her bottom kept dropping out. The first time this happened when Queen2B, who was just eightish, was looking after her, Queen2B had not been warned. So was somewhat non-plussed when Poggy asked her to scoop it back....I'm sure it was terrible, but on a Sunday afternoon by the canal, we giggled like we shouldn't. Like I said you had to be there. Poggy evidently runs a shop on the south coast now, so hopefully in her middle age it's all been sorted.

Saturday we did an off-beat tourist tour which took in Borough Market, and ended up at the fabulous production of War Horse which is still running. Again, if you have any spare pennies, it's money well spent....taking puppetry to a new level. I wish the Boy had been here to see it too, but he was supping at Raffles in Singapore. That's something I've never achieved...yet!

Sunday, was entirely given over to food...firstly at my favourite restaurant - Formans -who had failed to return six phone calls and three messages. That's true English service for you. We then moved on to another place, also on the Canal 'Olive E2' where the service couldn't have been more attentive...that's southern European service for you.

A sleepless Sunday night meant that I was up and awake to hear the Americans announce that they'd finally decided to stop arsing around and would sort out their budget issues. All around me I could hear the world breath a collective sigh of relief. But the net result in the long term will undoubtedly be to hasten America's decline as the world's leading (in fact only) superpower. That will be interesting for future generations. I wonder how that looks from Singapore?