“The station is right there,” Mirinda remarked, pointing at an old building that looked as if it had stood beside the road for about 300 years. “My iPhone says so.” She added for a bit of technological justification. The complete absence of any sort of railway track was also indicative.
This was at the other end of a tiring walk up from the Thames at Putney, trying to find Wandsworth Town station.
The morning started successfully enough. We met Bob at the Hilton, to where he’d transferred from Covent Garden then went to Carluccio’s for breakfast of eggs Benedict and lattes. We chuckled over the horrendously busy day that Sue and Graeme were going to have as they drove to Cornwall via Gatwick.
Our delicious breakfast was followed by a gloriously sun-ridden stroll around Canary Wharf, showing Bob the sights and sounds while I snapped photographs of boats and barges and sand sculptures of Kate and William and George.
Our delightful sightseeing soon ended and we set off for Putney, heading down to the wharf for the ferry.
It was not the most pleasant of ferry rides. Hordes of tourists with excessively noisy children spoiled it a little bit. Even so, there’s still nothing to beat it as a way to travel to the City.
Bob was amazed at the crowds at the wheel as we threaded our way towards Waterloo station and relative quiet.
What can I say about Putney High Street? It looked exactly like every other well appointed city high street. Full of chain stores, heavy with traffic, crowded with people. It was not exactly pleasant. I guess we’re very spoilt with Farnham and Canary Wharf. This felt like we’d slipped into the uncivilised heart of the south of the river.
Things started to improve as we left the busy roads and wandered down towards the Thames Path and the river itself. Well, I say ‘river’ but it had very little water in it and resembled a wide muddy, litter strewn sludge path. And it’s like that twice a day as the tide goes out.
I rather liked the houseboats that were sat on the silty bottom of the river, the water quite a long way from them. All a bit odd. Of course, all of this changed when the tide came back in and everything floated clear of the mud. It was all pretty extreme.
From the lovely oasis that is Wandsworth Park, we walked towards the flat we were going to view with the competent but lift averse Hannah (who Bob called Sarah).
The flat was as you’d expect. It’s a show flat and very well appointed. I thought it was a bit dark (there was not a lot of natural light) but kept quiet, given it wasn’t for me. Also, the show flat isn’t the configuration that’s for sale so it only gives an idea of what is for sale.
Following our viewing, we sat down at the Italian restaurant downstairs for a delicious lunch and long chat about the merits of living so close to a ferry stop with a sporadic ferry service that doesn’t run on weekends.
Following lunch, we set off for Wandsworth Town station.
Ben raves about Wandsworth High Street; claims it’s marvellous. I’m not sure he’s looking at the same Wandsworth high Street as we walked through. It was ghastly. Clearly his rose tinted glasses are actually blacked out completely.
We eventually gave up looking for the station and settled in a pub, waiting for an Addison Lee taxi to take us back to town, via Waterloo for me. The pub was pleasant enough and the taxi driver very professional but neither of these facts were enough to wipe away the experience of walking down the awful Wandsworth High Street.
It was with a sense of relief and joy that I left the cab at Waterloo and walked towards the indicator boards. This joy was short lived.
The trains were still all over the place (go to Farnborough, change for a bus to Farnham) and I had a long wait before boarding a (thankfully) fast train. It was full of sunny day trippers, mostly with kids.
I was entertained by a small child playing a very silly game with his aunt. He had the cheekiest face imaginable and was in fits of laughter for most of the journey.
I finally walked in the quiet, poodle-less door at 8pm.
We never did find Wandsworth Town station.