This is the Golden Lady of Harrow. She is rather beautiful, don’t you think, especially when the sun is shining on her. She dances endlessly on the façade of Hygeia House, across the road from the bus and Metropolitan Line stations.
I am showing her photo again because we were in Harrow today. Tigger had been sent to her firm’s Harrow office for the morning and I went to meet her at the end of her shift at 1:30pm.
On a “Harrow day”, we usually go for a nice lunch in Harrow or Pinner and perhaps take a bus ride somewhere but today we went straight home with a sense of urgency.
This was because we are off on our next jaunt on July 11th for 7 nights and hadn’t yet made any arrangements. We hadn’t forgotten we were going away but I think we had somehow got the dates confused in our minds and hadn’t realized how soon it was. So we hurried home and started looking up hotels on the Web.
Our intended destination lies in the north-east of England. I don’t know whether some special event is happening in the area on July 11th but we soon found that none of the hotels we tried had any vacancies for that day. We began to broaden our search but without much success. We looked at Scarborough, Whitby, Newcastle, York and Leeds. We tried our usual cheaper hotels and then moderately priced ones; we tried changing the dates; but all to no avail. We had left it a little late…
In the end, we had to bite the bullet and accept paying more than we usually do. At least this got us into our intended destination, rather than an alternative, and we will enjoy a little extra luxury for once.
Having booked the hotel, I was anxious to buy the train tickets. It’s no good having a hotel reservation (and paying a deposit) if you can’t actually get there. We waited until 7pm, hoping it would be quieter then, and went down to St Pancras. There was a long queue in the ticket office, so we went across to Starbuck’s and sat there with our drinks, watching the queue. When it became shorter, we dashed across and joined it.
I was right to insist on buying the tickets straightaway: there were no more cheap fares on our preferred train so we had to settle for the 7am. Ouch! But the main thing is that we did get tickets.
At the bus stop, we found a gentleman whose unstable gait and euphoric smile seemed to indicate that he had been heavily indulging in some intoxicating substance. He was trying to attract the attention of the drivers in the taxi queue but they all ignored him.
Eventually, he came across to us and spoke to Tigger. I couldn’t hear what he said or what she answered and just then our bus came. Once aboard, Tigger reported the conversation:
“Pointing at you, he asked me ‘Is he your husband’ and when I said yes, he replied ‘Shame’ and wandered off.”*
Make of it what you will.
So which was our intended destination? It is one of the towns named above. Here are a couple of clues: first, this town is known for attracting Goths (members of the subculture, not the ancient Germanic tribes); secondly, it was featured as a destination for Richard Wilson in the BBC’s series Britain’s Best Drives. There, I bet you’ve got it.
There are no prizes but if you feel like filing your answer, you are welcome to do so in a comment.
*We are not actually married but I suppose Tigger felt a short answer was simpler in the circumstances.