Grey and wet

Today was grey and wet. When I left home it was merely threatening rain but when I emerged from the tube at Borough, it had been raining for a while already. It was a light but insistent rain, the sort of rain that likes to be blown about by the wind, making umbrellas useless. It was misty too.

I met Tigger for lunch (Friday is Omelette Day, if you recall) and listened to a strange conversation in the cafe between a male customer with an American accent and the Italian lady who runs the place.

Customer (emphatically): Winter is here.

Cafe owner: Where?

Customer (tapping the table top with the tips of straight fingers): Here! Winter is here!

Cafe owner: No, winter not here. Not in here.

I think both parties gave up and accepted to differ. Maybe there was an element of cross-purposes in the exchange…

The Shard, its top shrouded in mist
The Shard, its top shrouded in mist

After lunch we looked across at the Shard, which being so tall, seems to follow you around. Its top was shrouded in mist. The mist drifted across the building, alternately thickening and thinning, but it made a strange contrast with the clearer air of the street.

When I returned later to meet Tigger after work, the mist had gone and the Shard stood out clearly against the sky.

We seem to have fallen into the habit of going for coffee and cake after work on Fridays. When I say cake, it can be anything from panettone through carrot cake to cheese on toast. The choice depends as much on what’s available where we go as on our mood.

Toasted teacakes at Polo
Toasted teacakes at Polo

Today we went to Polo 24 Hour Bar in Bishopsgate. Tigger chose toasted teacakes and that sounded a good idea to me. They were huge. I haven’t seen teacakes as big as that for a while.

Polo serves coffee in a mug with a spoon in it in the manner of greasy-spoon cafes though it isn’t a greasy-spoon cafe. Actually, it belongs to Ponti’s, the well known Italian chain, and despite being small, is a good little cafe. The only thing it lacks is a customer toilet, so you have to go to the station and spend 30p there. But don’t be in a hurry: there’s a busy road to cross on the way!

Copyright © 2010 SilverTiger,, All rights reserved.


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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8 Responses to Grey and wet

  1. WOL says:

    Every time you speak of “the Shard” it makes me laugh. I remember how the ultramodern “rebuilding” of the bombed out Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial cathedral in Berlin was called “the lipstick and compact” (“Lippenstift und Puderdose”). What does a “teacake” consists of? From the picture, it looks to me like raisin bread, which is scrumptious toasted and buttered. I was feeling a little chilly and noticed the household thermostat read 70F (21.1C) degrees. It’s supposed to get down to 36F(2.2C) tonight. I have not turned the heat on yet and won’t until it gets consistently colder. Time to break out the comforter and start wearing long sleeves. It’s supposed to be sunny tomorrow. I’ll take the comforter out of storage and hang it on the clothesline to air it out.

    • SilverTiger says:

      The difference is that in this case, “the Shard” is the building’s official name. It is also known as “the Shard of Glass”, because when finished it will be covered in glass and will taper to a point. I think “the Stalagmite” would be a better name. Or perhaps “the Upside Down Icicle”.

      A tea cake (there is a description by the BBC here) is usually a flattish bun, of a bread-like consistency, with cinnamon and raisons. It is cut in half horizontally and toasted, then spread with butter while still hot. It is best eaten with tea but is quite acceptable with coffee.

      We have a thermometer in our front room (we have two rooms, bedroom and front room) but I am not convinced that it is accurate. Or perhaps it isn’t in the optimum position. Even so it acts as a guide to temperature. I know that I am comfortable when it reads 23 and begin to feel chilly at 21 and below. When we feel cold, we top up the warmth with short bursts from the central heating.

      We had a cold snap during the last couple of weeks with air coming down from the Arctic, but now we are having a warm snap when dressing for winter makes you too warm. Welcome to the English climate.

  2. WOL says:

    Off topic, but the cat I’ve been blogging about was an indoor cat they had raised from a kitten. She was never allowed outside, but slipped out by accident last Saturday night and was gone before they could catch her. She’s dark grey, and would have been nearly impossible to spot in the dark. They did search for her repeatedly and left out food for her, but she evidently got herself in trouble pretty quickly with the neighbor’s dog.

    • SilverTiger says:

      The cat got out; we know this. The question is what happens next. The owners have apparently simply abandoned the cat to its fate and that is completely unacceptable. They should be prosecuted for cruelty and banned from keeping any more animals.

      Has no one thought to contact an organization such as ASPCA and if not, why not?

      I know you have done something to try to rescue the cat but the story cannot end there. It is simply not permissible to leave a cat to die up a tree.

      • WOL says:

        Actually they did, and they are doing what the local Humane Society told them to do. As for abandoning the animal, they have checked on her repeatedly and tried repeatedly to lure her down. They are distraught because they cannot come up with any other options. It is against our local fire department policy to answer “cat in tree” calls (insurance liability reasons). We cannot locate anybody who has a 15 foot extension ladder who is willing to put it up on my roof to try to get it and there’s no way you can get a cherry picker like the power company linemen use in my yard to get to it.On top of that is the likelihood that any attempts to get to it will only drive it higher up in the tree like we did Thursday, and further exhaust it. If we leave food for it to try to lure it down, as we have done, the feral cats get to it first, and probably have harrassed her to keep her away from it. We’re at our wits end.

        • SilverTiger says:

          This wider effort was not clear from your account which seemed to suggest that you alone were taking up the issue. I can only go with what I am told.

          In view of what you now say, I of course withdraw the criticism.

          I know the problem is a tricky one that requires intelligent action from experts. Nor am I arrogant enough to think that I can offer a solution from the other side of the world.

          I can only hope that someone can come forward with a method that succeeds.

  3. WOL says:

    In ref: The Kitty Crisis, check out my two latest blog posts.

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