Saturday, January 2nd 2016
Today was not a nice day for going out and about. It was cold and wet, my two least favourite meteorological conditions. In the afternoon, when Tigger expressed her intention to venture out, I was less than convinced that it was a good idea. Tigger, though, had an Idea and a Tigger with an Idea is not easily dissuaded, so I took a deep breath and put on my coat.
“You’ll be glad to know we’re going on the tube,” said Tigger consolingly.
Tigger hates the tube and never uses it unless doing so is really necessary. I, on the other hand, love it. It is my transport mode of choice. I fell in love with it when I first came to London and have kept my affection for it intact ever since. That Tigger was planning to take us by tube was therefore a matter of no small interest.
We started by bus, however, and by this means reached Chancery Lane where we joined the Central Line. This hurried us off westwards to somewhere I had never been before, Perivale.
Perivale these days lies within the London Borough of Ealing and the origin of its name is as evocative as it is mysterious. It is thought that it is composed of two words perie (meaning ‘pear tree’) and vale (meaning ‘vale’), but whose pear tree it was or why it was thought important enough to give its name to the place is not known.
We arrived at Perivale Underground Station and disembarked. Things had been fine until then. Sheltered and warm in the train, I had become a little complacent but was shocked out of this on stepping out into the cold and damp of the street. It was not good news when Tigger casually remarked “It’s a bit of a walk from here.” As I knew she had a surprise in store for me, though, I took another deep breath and put my best foot forward.
We struck off bravely down Horsenden Lane until we came to a six-lane highway known as the A40 but also called Western Avenue. There is a footbridge to carry intrepid explorers safely over the endless streams of speeding vehicles and from its lower stages we had our first glimpse of the surprise.
Knowing my interest in American diners (see, for example, Trinity Buoy Wharf), Tigger had brought me here to Starvin’ Marvin’s where we hoped to enjoy exotic food in an exotic setting. Alas, it was not to be.
“It looks closed to me,” said Tigger and she was right. In fact, to judge from the heap of mail visible just inside the front door, it has been closed for some time.
As there was no need to hurry, we took our time crossing the bridge and I photographed the road, first this way:
and then that way:
Boring, I know, but I was a bit hard up for things to photograph.
All was not lost, however, and a refuge from the weather was at hand…
The refuge took the form of the local branch of the Fayre and Square pub chain. Inside was light, warmth and vegetarian sausage and mash!
Warmed, rested and fed, we luxuriated for a while and then undertook the voyage of return, crossing the footbridge over the mighty Western Avenue and following Horsenden Lane to…
…Perivale tube station and the first lap of our journey home.
The diner being closed was a disappointment, of course, but we found shelter and sustenance elsewhere so the adventure ended well. Still, It was good to arrive home and put the kettle on.