A new rejoinder has been added to Fereday household dialogue.... immediately after I point out some new foible, Fereday responds, "Oh, just blog about it...." While admittedly this is much more polite than "stick it where the sun don't shine, sweetie", I've been so wrapped up at work this month that I've done hardly any blogging. (And just for clarity's sake, Fereday has never actually told me to "stick" anything, this classic phrase was prevalent during my uni years... and was usually voiced by me.) So, there is a whole raft of Fereday exploits during the past couple of weeks which have gone, well, unexploited, as well as my two trips to London to report on.So, London, then, because that's what I remember best from the last couple of weeks. Usual routine, up early to catch the train from Halifax to London. Halifax used to have at least 8 platforms and was a main station... but that was back when we had a serious cloth trade... now we have 2 platforms served by "sheds on rails". But the view is beautiful - until you reach Bradford - so that's for about 10 minutes of a 35 minute journey. Before you get to the outskirts of Bradford (an area so bad that the no man's land between North and South Korea refused to be twinned with it), you get a gorgeous eyeful of luxuriant golf green (only occasionally marred by men sporting outrageously ugly trousers with clashing jumpers who are too old to be expressing a predilection for the sartorial fancies of Vivienne Westwood), faultlessly beautiful and warm Yorkshire stone buildings which - because my blood pressure can be a bit low in the morning - remind me of Native Americans sitting crosslegged in green grass... the colour of the stone matches the colour of the hides that Native Americans used to make clothing. Ubiquitouse purple rhododendrons grow alongside the train lines. They even cover the high walls of some of the deep cuttings, and, but for the UK weather, you could convince yourself that you were in a really exotic jungle locale. As I mentioned, my blood pressure is always a bit low in the morning, and I tend not to make much sense. I also tend to block out the experience of travelling between Bradford and Leeds. Entering Leeds is distressing - it really is becoming a concrete jungle. Pretty soon, you won't be able to see the canal at all from the train... more and more buildings are going up and you can barely catch a glimpse of the water.Another year, and it will be almost indistinguishable from arriving into London on the train - except of course, Leeds won't have anything to resemble the Emirates Stadium... that is truly horrendous - ugly building for an ugly game. Feredays are not fans of footie. My excuse is being from across the pond, soccer isn't a sport, it's a PE activity. Fereday's is that he came from the Potteries (Stoke-on-Trent), and they don't have football there.But what about Fereday? Well, business is brisk. In contrast to the credit crunch which is reeking havoc on my work, he's getting calls. Maybe this is something to do with the so-called "staycation"... with people wanting to tidy up the homestead if they're going to have to vacation in it??? (Personally, I don't know what the big deal is, I've been treating our house like a hotel for years. I must say that I do get the odd withering look when I attempt to hand in a comment card, but I believe in the value of feedback.... and frankly if I was running this place and the continental breakfast was wanting and the laundry service had lost a sock... well, I think I'd want to know.)Yesterday marked the commencement of spider season. Fereday, the Great Hunter, ran a "biggun" to ground in the kitchen. I'd post a picture of him proudly holding it up so everyone could check out the amazing leg span, but he flicked the corpse out into the garden with the broom.... yes, broom selected because of the length it afforded between spider and Fereday. We're now going about the house fully kitted out for the season (slippers on at all times) and dashing through doorways in case one of the blighters jumps us. In terms of hunting etiquette, I take on a modified "beater" role, shrieking when I spot one so that Fereday can rush in with his great big feet and get it.
This bridge has the potential to become one of the most expressive and visible landmarks in London, heralding the changes that are taking place south of the river and making vital connections to the north shore.
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