Posts Tagged ‘West Brompton Cemetery’

Home Again, Home Again

January 13, 2013

Jiggedy jig.

I am ready to go home.

Paris, that is.

London has been lovely and I have gotten to meet some really nice people–one of whom is named Eloise.

Eloise!

It’s like something out of a story book.

I was chatting with a gentleman I met tonight and we both smiled at the state of my life, the adventures, the travel, the hop the EuroStar for the weekend to mark a special anniversary.

Not that I really did anything special.

I just walked around.

London.

Cromwell Road

Cromwell Road

I took in some sites.  But not the sites typically taken in, I would think.

I had a nice morning into early afternoon with Miss Kellie and we parted about 2pm this afternoon.

She was not feeling at the top of her game and after a long week of working back in San Francisco, travel, jet lag, and a little sore throat, on top of the need to be in peak performance shape for a full week back to work, she had to go back to the flat.

I was left to my own devices.

Kellie got me as far as the Underground and gave me good directions on which way to go.

I had decided I was going to go to Trafalgar Square and face the tourists and do the National Museum.

That did not happen.

I got to the tube just fine, added a few pounds to the Oyster Card (Metro pass) that Barnaby lent me, and headed toward the correct platform.

While on the train, however, the announcer came on and said, this is the stop for the museums.  I just thought, oh, I’m here earlier than I thought.

Nope.

Different set of museums.

Museum

Museum of Science and Natural History

I would have gone in.

I was in fact, headed toward the front gate.

So were hundreds of other people.

Hundreds.

The line, where I passed by and gave up hope of getting in, was marked for a 45 minute queue time.

The line was much further back than the 45 minute marker.  It was easily double that and full of children, loads of children, retarded amounts of children.  I was not going to stand in line for an hour and a half to be bamboozled by kids all afternoon.

I walked past.

I came to an intersection, looked both ways, man is it disconcerting that the cars run on the opposite side, looked both ways again, and said, ok, which way?

I turned left.

Glad I did.

I got to go past Saint Augustine’s Church.

Glorious.

Saint Augustine's

Saint Augustine’s

The sun on the facade, the naked trees against the blue of the sky.

I was mesmerized.

I kept turning back to take more photographs as I walked away.

Meridian

Meridian

I walked into the Chelsea neighborhood.  It was divine.  Quiet, elegant row houses, lots of brick, and the sun was shining over it all, benevolent, still, almost warm when I was in a sheltered area for a moment.

Row Houses

Row Houses

I followed the line of the road past these brick beauties and came to another intersection.

Again, I looked both ways, less for the cars, the roads were fairly quiet, the neighborhood extremely residential, but more for which way do I go.

I saw a peak of a church belfry to my left and decided to head toward that.

It was in the center of a gorgeously quiet pocket of Chelsea.  I almost felt like I had tripped upon some gated community.  The church was in the middle of a park and I thought briefly of going in, but it was private and gated and despite the gate looking unlocked, I had a feeling it was not a public house.

I stopped and stared, nonetheless and of course, clicked on the camera to take a few photographs.

Church

Church

Sunlit Steeple

Sunlit Steeple

The sun shone brightly and I continued my walk through the neighborhood.

I popped out of the quiet residential pocket onto a slightly busier road and after looking at a map on a bus station decided I should walk toward the Thames.

I mean, I am in London, right, maybe at least get headed back in the direction of the places one is supposed to go set eyes on, The Tower of London, West Minster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament, maybe the London Eye.  Something of that nature.

However, on my way to that end I walked past the West Brompton Cemetery.

Death called.

I answered.

I swerved off the beaten path and into the quiet, sun drenched stillness of the cemetery.

Cemetery

Cemetery

Bench

Bench

It was exquisitely quiet.

Still.

Serene.

The sun battered down and I felt so at peace, no pun intended, so at rest, ok, a little intended, I just drifted along.

The chorus of ravens flocking about, the flit of a squirrel on a branch, the lines of tilted stone crosses and old headstones.

The romance of it all.

Death, you do me good.

I would have stayed longer.

I thought about snagging the bench in the corner of the back edge that I saw, so beguiling, so beckoning.

However, I hate to admit it, but I had a large cup of coffee and a half liter of water in me from the earlier part of the day.

I had to find the loo.

My visit cut short, I edged out along a more public path–I apparently had come in the back side entrance–and headed toward the West Brompton Underground Station.

West Brompton Train

West Brompton Train Station

As luck would have it I was guided to my final destination on my trip planner a little earlier than I thought I would be going.

I had plans, tentative, it turns out, and unconfirmed plans end up being plans that do not pan out, to meet some one at the Angel Tube stop.

I debated while on the train whether I should just get off at Oxford Circus on the Piccadilly Line and head to the museum.

I had time before my seven o’clock meet time.

I had the inclination.

But I did not have the desire.

The stillness and solitude of the cemetery still sat with me and I could not fathom losing that peace I had acquired in the sun to a mess of tourist in that neighborhood.  I was content to be headed in the right direction.

I got off at the Angel tube stop and walked about.

I found a restroom in a Starbucks and got a coffee to pay for the usage of the facilities.  It was a warm, cozy spot with a lot of overstuffed chairs and my feet hurt.  I debated.

Nah.

I am in London, go walk about some more.

The light fading fast I headed out with my Americano in a cup and made for a direction that seemed pleasing.

I discovered the end of a little antique market closing down for the day.  I went about the stalls and poked through a few shops.  The wind picked up and the sun was gone.

As I fumbled with my camera to get a shot of a gorgeous flowering tree next to a vintage shop on one of the corners I realized that I was chilled, my feet were really sore, and despite wanting to see more of London, what I really wanted was a book and a sit in a comfy chair with a cup of tea.

I got the photograph.

Flowering Tree at Dusk

Flowering Tree

I turned around and headed back to the book store I saw on the way.

I perused the stacks and picked up a Brett Easton Ellis novel I had not heard of before.

I headed back to the Starbucks.

Yup.

I settled for comfort and a warm place to sit and wait for my friend.

Who, as it turns out had a change in her plans and we never did connect.

I did get to the meet up place and I did meet a few more interesting folk before the night was through.

Ultimately making it back to Miss Kellie’s place in time for a hug and a hot bowl of take away from last night warmed up in the microwave, followed by, yes, another mug of tea.

I am glad I came to London.

I am happy I am going home, though.

Home.

Paris.

I will see you soon, ma cherie.


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