The next stage

The next stage

It’s a very long time since I’ve been on the midday train to Scotland. I’m sitting here , just watching the northern suburbs of London in pale autumn sunshine, looking forward to some countryside again after a couple of lovely days out walking in the Surrey fields and gardens.

A couple of lovely days, the National gallery in London on Tuesday then Chartwell on Wednesday.

It was interesting being in London again, a warm-ish sunny day with lots of kids, tourists, Londoners all out enjoying the city. It was a very friendly feeling with no lingering trace of COVID other than a few people wearing masks. I do wonder how much of the atmosphere was due to the weather.

The National Gallery was great, it’s a privilege to have such beautiful works of art available to see, free of charge. We limited ourselves to a few rooms only, as otherwise it would be overwhelming.

Yesterday was more strolling in the English country, this time at Chartwell. This is the country residence of Winston Churchill, and a family home rather than a massive stately mansion. Lots of gardens, with the pumpkins and autumn vegetables all coming ripe.

Spending a few days in the south of England has been really interesting. There’s a mixture of shabby, rundown suburbs with glorious tradition. The infrastructure is very faded, and the general disarray of the politics, strikes and cost of living crisis add an element of decay. This balances against the vibrancy I experienced in London, with a cosmopolitan mixture of people, languages and events going on.

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