Leo the legend

Today saw me performing the sad task of cancelling four weeks of restaurant bookings ahead of tomorrow. It was also bittersweet that we went out to Pulpo Negro, possibly for the last time, and sat at the Chef’s Table. But I don’t want to talk about sadness when I have Leo to discuss instead.

I’ve mentioned Leo before. He is a beagle that regularly takes his human for a frustrating walk in the park. Leo is very sociable and single-minded. He rarely does what he’s told, but he is adorable enough to get away with it. I call him the Naughtiest Dog in the Park.

Today I was told that he peed on a boy’s jumper yesterday.

The jumper was one of four, piled on the grass as crude goalposts, and the boys were kicking a ball about on their makeshift pitch. Leo has no concept of sport, but he does know he has to leave his scent everywhere. So he did.

I remarked that that was very Leo-like behaviour and his owner sighed, nodding.

Out and about today, I noticed a few things other than Leo.

Firstly, there appears to be a new bench being installed not far from our entry to the park. The concrete base has been laid so the bench can’t be far behind.

It’s a good idea. There are a few benches dotted along the all weather path, but they end rather abruptly just behind the green covered structure in the distance of the photo above. The next one, if you continue to follow the path, is beyond the Avenue of Trees, roughly 1,590 feet away. Or, in my case, a lot more less workable feet away.

The next thing I noticed was that the loose bricks in the alley leading from the park to Park Row are finally being fixed. They have had orange dots on them for quite a while now, which, to be fair, was enough to indicate they were best avoided.

But, because humans are inherently stupid and accident-prone, someone had to fix them.

Barriers were put up, which made me think that they were just waiting for the big planters to replace the barriers in the Borough before they could use them, and work started this morning.

I know the guy in the photo looks like he’s cutting up a black sock, but he’s actually looking at his phone while wearing a glove and holding the other one. When I first cropped the photo, I was convinced that someone had come up with an ingenious way of fixing bricks by using odd socks.

Something I noticed a while back was that Holland and Barrett in West Street had been gutted. My first fear was that they were going to be the latest in the string of dying businesses but, no, they were renovating. I know because they very helpfully put big posters in the windows telling us so.

They seem to have finished and today was the grand re-opening.

I don’t want to tempt fate so, I’m finishing this happy post on that note.

Well, apart from…

Today, this happened

In 1776, The Battle of Flamborough Head was fought in the North Sea off Yorkshire.

Teaming up with the French, the Americans attacked a couple of British escort ships wanting to take charge of the 40 merchant ships they were protecting.

The Battle was a bit odd because the Franco-American force was not, on the whole, very experienced in Naval tactics. To be fair, there was one very experienced French Captain but that was it. On the other hand, the two British escorts were very experienced. One was a British Navy warship (HMS Serapis) and the other (Countess of Scarborough) a ship of mercenaries hired specifically to escort the merchant ships. In short, the Brits knew what they were doing while the Franco-Americans didn’t. Really.

As things turned out, the British naval ship was more or less destroyed as was the Franco-American flagship, the Bonhommie Richard, and the Franco-Americans lost more men, though numbers are merely estimates. The Battle is insane and really worth a read of the Wikipedia entry but, by some strange twist of fate, the Franco-Americans won the battle but lost the convoy, while the British officers were heralded as heroes.

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