Thursday, March 22, 2012
Central London is very much still Charles Dickensesque----with a touch of Jane Austen,Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland thrown in!!!Looking around the area where Sayali lives----- it's full of tall straight Townhouses--split up and converted into Flats-----their tall Brick Chimneys bringing the Movie "Mary Poppins" very much to mind.For Sudhir and me this would be our ideal environment--provided we were together!!!Perhaps that is why I'm missing him so much---it's like a physical ache!!
Being Indians we both grew up on a steady diet of British Literature---in Sudhir's case it was more of G.K. Chesterton,Henry Cecil and Somerset Maugham besides the Brontes,Jane Austen,Arthur Conan Doyle---and yes Agatha Christie too---that shaped his perception of London.In mine it was also History and the novels of Jean Plaidy,Victoria Holt and G.A. Henty that brought alive various periods of British History.Here I'm forgetting that beautifully romantic book"The Scarlet Pimpernel"----one book that would catch our imagination completely--no matter how often we read it!!!Suffice to say that this part of London retains it's "Olde Worlde"charm beautifully!!!
What is really surprising is the number of multi cuisine Restaurants and Gastro Pubs around---you name it--they have it!!!The Streets are cheek to jowl with Italian,Greek,Mexican,Lebanese,Moroccan,Pe
rsian as well as Pan Asian Food and Shops---there even being an Organic Greek Farm Produce outlet!!There's a wonderful Argentinian "Churascaria" a hop,skip and jump across the Road---and an Indian Restaurant nearby---there's also a famous Pub on the corner--a London landmark ---no less!! The only hazards are the Stairs--but with each passing day these are becoming more negotiable----my fat old legs are adjusting to them!!!
Sudhir is my invisible companion on all the jaunts I take on my own---silently talking to him and surprisingly hearing his views as well---he gives me the encouragement to venture out on my own!!!My awkwardness at being alone is slowly diminishing as it is gradually sinking in that I'm not an oddity---hence no one looks at me in curiosity just because I'm unescorted!!!The other day I gathered up my courage to step into the neighbourhood Pub---only to be told that the Kitchens were closed till 6 p.m.!!!I've been browsing through the various Kitchen Shops---with Sudhir asking me in my head--as to what I'm actually doing there???The answer is that I'm addicted to a lot of things---the worst being Tupperware,followed by Kitchen Ware and Perfumes/Handbags in that order!!!Hence now I'm teaching myself to look---not buy--for my daughters will gift me anything I lay my finger on---like Sayali bought me a combination of Jo Malone Perfumes on Mother's Day last Sunday---that being the British Mother's Day falling in mid March---not May!!
That day was really special--for we took a Bus ride to Hyde Park to dine in this wonderful Restaurant for a special Champagne Brunch--a waste on me I'm afraid---for I refused the Champagne included in the Menu--and nibbled at the excellent Food they'd laid out!!!My heart was crying at the waste--but couldn't do Justice to the excellent Roasts and the rest of of the Stuff laid out---pacing myself through the Courses--till finally stuffed to the Gills I finally crawled home to sleep off the effects of the Beautiful Food---slumbering away throughout Monday---in a combination of over eating and Jet Lag!!!