Outing with swans and city views

Hampton Court

Having breakfasted at Pane Vino in Chapel Market and done the week’s shop at Sainsbury’s, put away the shopping and rested (with tea, of course), we were ready to go out for the afternoon. It was another warm and sunny day, just right for what we had in mind. Our destination was Hampton Court, which we reached by a combination of bus and train.

Paddle Steamer

Leaving the station we wandered along the bank of the river, trying to ignore the fish torturers, until we found a suitable spot to spread the rug and relax, watching the various boats going up and down and seeing the palace sparkling in the sun.

Hampton swans

Afterwards we fed some swans and a duck with seed that we had bought on a previous occasion. They quite enjoyed this and even though people tempted them away for a while with bread, they came back to us for more seed.

The bridge

We crossed the elegant bridge, enjoying the play of light under the arches from the sunlight reflected in the water and photographed the heraldic beasts on the gates of Hampton Court.

Pleasant cafe

Then we walked around the shops until we found a pleasant little cafe. We were going to have coffee but saw they were offering Minestrone soup and had that instead. It came with bread and was very tasty.

The sun was going down and a chill crept upon the air so it seemed time to make tracks for home. This time we changed trains at Wimbledon, intending to travel on to Kings Cross. The train could only take us as far as Blackfriars, however, because of railworks.

What is it about the British mentality that makes us patch and make do, putting off proper repairs until the system becomes dangerous and major works have to be undertaken at huge expense and great inconvenience to customers, despite the fact that we, the customers are supposed to go on paying inflated fares while not receiving anything like the service that these should entitle us to?

Or perhaps I should rephrase that question and ask why we, the long-suffering public, put up with this nonsense. If the workers can strike whenever they feel like manufacturing some flimsy excuse, shouldn’t we do the same? Shouldn’t we engage in mass fare-strikes, boarding the trains and refusing to pay?

The answer, of course, is that we don’t do this because we are British. We sit and take whatever anyone dishes out to us, whether it is rip-off prices, inadequate service, insulting customer service or incompetent and dishonest government. It is bad manners to make a fuss.

Maybe when Labour has put in place the final bricks of the police state it is building, we will sit up and take notice. By then, needless to say, it will be too late.

We disembarked at Blackfriars and went for a random walk through the city. I cannot say exactly what route we took, for at each point we mentally tossed a coin to decide which way to go.

I will let my photos describe the walk. I have not put any captions. If you recognize the places shown, so well and good. If not, maybe you can explore London and try to find them.

London Eye The Blackfriars

Apothecaries Hall City sunset

King's Wardrobe YHA

Goldsmiths' Hall Temple Bar

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About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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3 Responses to Outing with swans and city views

  1. Chris says:

    Wow! From a diverted train to inflated fares to dishonest government and finishing with a police state? Coming from anyone else, I’d say that was a prime example of the slippery slope fallacy or maybe an old fashioned rant. But as it’s you, I’ll just take it as a campaign speech. OK, you’ve got my vote. Let’s face it: you couldn’t do any worse than good old Gordon, could you?

    PS- Glad to hear you enjoyed your day out (all things considered:))

  2. I thought the British were getting a bit better about complaining? maybe not.

    I never understand how commuters put up with paying exhorbitant fares and not getting a seat (or often even a train!) but I suppose they don’t have a realistic choice. Well, unless you are going to start a rebellion and mass walk-off trains.

    I like the way you put that box in the post – it was a nice idea. Not seen that before and it works well.

  3. SilverTiger says:

    To Chris: Not a rant, more an impassioned meditation.

    OK, a rant.

    To Reluctant Blogger: The British do complain – you’re right about that – but it’s not organized complaint. Rather it’s a selfish me-me-me type of complaint that serves no real purpose.

    The box is just an HTML table with border=1. Handy for separating impassioned meditations (OK, rants) from narrative.

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