We had arranged previously to have lunch today with Tigger’s sister and the latter’s partner at Purfleet. We wondered whether to put off the engagement because of the snow and the cold.
This morning when I woke up, I switched on the central heating and went back to bed to wait until the flat warmed up. The flat didn’t warm up. The central heating didn’t come on. Imagine how I felt! Fortunately, I remembered to look at the pressure gauge and saw that the needle had dropped out of the green area. I twiddled the taps as I had been hold to do. The needle shot up and the boiler began to rumble. Relief!
When I looked outside, the sun was shining. I still wasn’t keen in going on a trip but, encouraged by the sun and cheered by feeling warmer now that the heating was working, I bravely got ready. By the time I had finished dressing, I looked like the Michelin Man with all my extra layers.
We took the bus and then the tube to Upney, where we were picked up in sister’s car. For lunch, we went to the Royal Hotel in Purfleet. The meal was pretty indifferent and I won’t be hurrying back but the actual meal is only a minor part of a family get-together, I suppose.
In town, snow seems confined to lawns and dark corners but Essex presented a winter snowscape, as you see in the above photo. We had to be careful when walking because the ground was icy.
After lunch, we were chauffered back to Upney tube station. We didn’t have to wait very long for a train and I had time only for one photo.
I noticed this 1931 drain pipe, a humble enough fitting, but I liked the way it had survived – being painted many times – for nearly 80 years. I wonder how long it will go on doing its job, mostly unnoticed and ignored.
The tube was crowded and we had to stand. Even so, I would have been happy to continue all the way into London. Tigger, though, doesn’t like the tube, so we got off at Bromley-by-Bow and walked down the road to Bow Church.
“Bow Church” is most commonly spoken of as one of the destinations of the various public transport services but there actually is a Bow Church, which today sits uncomfortably in a narrow space between two major roads.
(This is not the church with the famous Bow Bells – within the sound of whose peals you have to be born in order to claim to be a Cockney: that privilege belongs to St Mary-le-Bow in the City of London.)
I didn’t have much time to take this photo because we wanted to catch the 205 and the bus you can see in the bottom right of the photo is it. That bus took us back home to a warm flat and hot tea.