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Grey, wet and miserable!


Sunday, March 24, 2013




Thatís the weather report in London today!

I was reading a blog about gym membership not being necessary to lose weight, how you could be a gym member and not lose a pound unless you did something with it, and this motivated me to get up and go for a walk, rather than fiddling around on the computer.

For days I have been putting off going to my local town and getting myself a few books from the library, and itís getting desperate now. If I donít do something soon I shall have to start reading my open university coursework!

So I collected together the necessary. Library ticket, gloves, scarf, keys, purse, St Bernard, barrel of brandy. Unfortunately, I didnít have either of those, so I picked up my bus pass just in case I needed to rescue myself.

It was snowing outside, in a half-hearted, haphazard, frozen drizzle kind of way, and the easterly wind swirled the little flakes about.

It was freezing.

Now those of you who live where there is feet of snow, and temperatures below zero for months, will scoff at me complaining that +1C is cold. I need to explain that the UK does a special kind of cold. The wind comes straight across the North Sea from Siberia, and it is damp. Not the kind of invigorating kind of cold you get, but icy fingers finding every little gap in your clothing, and the dampness seeping through into your bones. It also never seems to get light, a perpetually grey world.

The Scots have a word for it, they call it Ďdreichí. Sums it up perfectly.

Anyway, off I went. Although it was 11.30am, most of the cars had their headlights on in the gloom. I turn left into the side-streets.



Walking about a mile to the Sutton Bypass. Itís deserted this morning, normally its bonnet to exhaust pipe, solidly all along this bit.



Across the bypass, and into Collingwood Recreation Ground. Sutton Football Club have their grounds here, but nobodies there today.



These two look like they might be here for a kick-about



Even the daffs look frozen!



Another mile, mile and a half, and Iím on the outskirts of Sutton, one of the outer London suburbs, and I stop to take a picture of Sutton councils 1960ís answer to the housing crisis.



Still they appear to have cured the concrete cancer afflicting it last year, and given it a new coat of paint, and they say the view is amazing from the top! I just am so grateful I donít have to live there!


They called it Balaam House, with the result that none of the residents can spell their address correctly!


Turning round, I get a distinct shock as I catch sight of my reflection in a shop window! Not only are there tears rolling down my chubby little cheeks from the wind, (thank God I wasnít wearing mascara), but I have, what appears to be an electrocuted badger on my head!!!

My hair, once dampened, turns into frizzy wire wool, and a comb only makes it worse! I am resigned to beating it to death with the hair straighteners when I get home!

I take a short cut, through the graveyard of one of Sutton's three churches. This one is just known as the parish church, and is very traditional in this part of Surrey. Usually, the only thing more deserted on a Sunday morning than the roads, are the churches! But I can hear an organ playing, and see a few elderly worshipers inside. It is possible however, that they are desperate Londoners, praying for a change in the weather, or simply keeping their heating bills low.



This is the vestry



The Methodist church over the road, is a little more Ďhigh churchí but is equally empty.



Coming into Sutton High Street, is the only bit of Ďold Suttoní left now. The Cock Inn used to be a hotel. It was knocked down 50 years ago.



This is the view down the High Street.



As I should have realized, the library was shut. So I ducked into W.H.Smiths, to try to massage some feeling back into my face, and warm up a bit.

When I left, a short time later, it seemed to be getting dark! I checked my watch to see if I had fallen into some time warp and lost an afternoon, but no, it was still only 12.30pm. The weather had decided to stop sulking, and get on with it! The snow, which had stopped, came down in earnest. Big, wet flakes.

I cannot pretend to not know where I was, I couldnít see, but I could still smell! I lumbered past the fancy French cake shop, the pasty shop and McDonalds, then tip-toed past KFC. I hesitated outside the pasty shop, I will admit, but just at the right moment, a man built like a tank, waddled past, going in the opposite direction, so I braced myself and kept going.

I had just got to the point of thinking that this was ridiculous, and was fumbling, with numb fingers for my bus pass, which had got wedged somehow between the St Bernard and the barrel of brandy....

(What, sorry, hallucinating there... that wasnít a cold, wet nose, it was my cold, soggy hanky!)

When the snow stopped, as suddenly as it had started!

By now I was a good part of my way home, and the wind, which had been in my face the whole time, should have been behind me. Of course, when the snow stopped the wind dropped too. Anyway, by now I was onto the last leg. (Thank Goodness for that did I hear you cry?) This bit is called the Millennium Path, and it was designed as a wildlife corridor, backing on to the biggest graveyard/crematorium in south east London.





The opposite side of the road is a wilderness too, attracting huge amounts of birds, and bees and butterflies in season.



At this point, in a straight line Iím a hundred yards from home, though itís still 20 minutes round the roads.

Not so scenic as the routes I generally do, but better than sitting indoors all day. I'm hoping to get out for a couple of proper walks over Easter, but so far the weather forecast is not very encouraging! Ah well, you know what they say about April:-

April always brings the showers,
They go on for hours and hours!






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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARTY728 3/27/2013 11:05AM

    I liked the pictures and the associated descriptions. I liked how you were sharing with us! emoticon emoticon

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FALLNTENN 3/25/2013 7:29PM

    You deserve a hot toddy for braving the weather. Good job of burning calories instead of adding calories.

emoticon

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STFRENCH 3/25/2013 8:26AM

    We had snow too in Yorkshire this weekend and bitter cold wind!
I'm never going to get back to my allotment at this rate!! emoticon

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PATTYKLAVER 3/25/2013 7:49AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog with your pictures. Sending you some warmth and sunshine.

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YIGOBUTTERFLY 3/25/2013 7:01AM

    I grew up in Oregon which is a wet cold much of the time, even in the summer. I was in England around '93 or '94 and had a lovely time even with the rain although once I got away from London the weather was much nicer. I want to go back some day.

Thank you for the lovely walk in your village.

Jane on Guam, Where America's Day Begins

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ROSE284 3/25/2013 5:26AM

    You're an OU-er too? Excellent! Good to see there's more than one of us around here! I'm rapidly approaching my EMA deadline and then will be taking a break for a few months which should give me a chance to focus on SP for a while.

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LILORITA 3/25/2013 5:05AM

    Sending you more sun emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EOWYNRUSS 3/25/2013 4:15AM

    When I went to bed last night it was raining, when I woke up this morning, everything was covered with 6 inches of heavy, wet snow. I have not set one toe out of doors today, so impressed that you did! Love your pics, especially the parish church. England does churches and gorgeous little churchyards like nobody else.

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AKELAZ 3/24/2013 11:46PM

    Love the photos - and also those pictures you paint with your words. Thank you so much for taking us with you.
Hope the straighteners worked their magic when you got back!


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DOVESEYES 3/24/2013 8:50PM

    Brrr!!! Hope you got the badger under control when you got home. Great walk but this time I'm pretty glad I am just a voyeur!!!!



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OVERACTIVEELBOW 3/24/2013 7:15PM

    Thanks for taking us on your frigidly icy cold walk. I most froze to death just bumbling along with you. I do love your pictures and commentaries. I look forward with great anticipation to each installment.
Thanks again from across the pond.
Audra

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CATLADY52 3/24/2013 7:00PM

    I enjoyed your photo tour of Sutton. I guess I am just too 'California Girl' to go outside during the winter. I sometimes need the brandy & St Bernard to go into the cooler parts of the house.

The saying I like is "April showers bring May Flowers. Mayflowers bring Pilgrims".


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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 3/24/2013 5:18PM

    Beautiful pictures! And I have lived in upstate New York in the snow belt and known freezing temperatures but the coldest I have ever been was in late-March in England--right outside of London.

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 3/24/2013 4:31PM

    emoticon Sending you a bit of sun

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COCK-ROBIN 3/24/2013 4:14PM

    Wonderful!

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NEW-CAZ 3/24/2013 3:46PM

    Great views and a great walk!

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CHICCHANTAL 3/24/2013 2:13PM

    So that's you, what about the weather?

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JUNEAU2010 3/24/2013 1:22PM

    Thanks for adding to my vocabulary - dreich indeed! (Juneau can be like that, but not endlessly). I love the pictures of the churches. I would probably go nuts over the architecture if I ever got across the big pond!

Kudos for walking instead of of surfing!

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PEGGYO 3/24/2013 1:06PM

    great travelogue could almost picture the St Bernard

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MARIANNE9855 3/24/2013 12:54PM

    Great walk! depressing no book but good for you, you passed up all the goody shops. I live in the northeast but when I live in North Carolina- normally lovely weather- it got very cold and damp and seemed worse than the cold up here while it was probably 30 degrees warmer.

Love seeing your pics of the "real" England which includes all parts and not just the scenic ones we usually see on tv. Your churches are fantastic though- I would love to explore- I was an art history major before I got my master's in social work and love history. Maybe I should put a trip to England on my bucket list when I am really healthy and able to fit in airplane seats with room to spare.

thanks again for the lovely trip,
emoticon for best blog!

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SAINTBETH 3/24/2013 12:53PM

    Lovely views of your area--thanks for the photo tour!

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TRUCKERSMRS 3/24/2013 12:37PM

    And still no book! But at least you got a good walk in, despite the weather. Our cars are still covered in snow. The wind seems to have died down a little but it's still a tad on the sharp side!
Love the pics of your local area.
emoticon

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RAINBOWCHOC 3/24/2013 12:15PM

    well done for taking your camera on a walk, I took mine with a flat battery so no evidence from our 3 hours walking round the coast. You'll just have to come and see for yourself!
Hope you've thawed now.

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DR1939 3/24/2013 11:58AM

    Good for you for getting out. We've had some sunny days but it has been cold and very windy. I grew up on the Gulf Coast of Texas (Gulf of Mexico) where the temperature was moderate but when it got to around 0C/32F it was very damp and cold. Luckily that was only for about a week or two. It does seem as Spring has lost its way this year emoticon

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