Since I was cutting the run short, anyway, I was pleased when I looked up from my fish treat and spotted what I reckoned to be another pub sign. Even better, this appeared to be a deviant bar so at last I might have an interesting write-up to do (no offense to the Tree, the Waterside, or the Coy Carp earlier this day). I eagerly approached the Carpet and Vinyl with thoughts of 70’s pubic hair and form-fitting/fluids resistance outfits.
Alas, it was non-euphemistically a carpet and vinyl shop. Sort of the old bait-and-switch (and, come to think of it, “The Bait & Switch” might make a good fetish bar name, too).
I bought my i-Phone off a junkie in Amsterdam for 10 euros. I cracked the system (i-Phone 4 was the last you could do this on) and as a result it isn’t a phone but it IS a camera, a GPS, and — when there’s accessible WiFi (which, because of cracking skills, there usually is) — an internet browser. I love it when people try to get clever with their WiFi router names (mine is named after my previous cat, so no points for me). “Pretty Fly For A WiFi” out in Cirencester was my favourite until I spotted this one (pictured), today. Anyone out there have (or seen) better ones?
One of the profs I work for at Oxford picked this hat up for me in Japan because it said something about running and it was fucking hilarious.
It seems that something went wrong at the hat manufacturing plant and random words were programmed into the embroidery machine. A former colleague sent me a similarly funny menu from China a few years ago, so I think it might be a result of Google Translate applied to Asian languages.
Regardless, I can’t find anything online that this collection of words might mean:
Fly On The Horizon Like A Cloud
It continues shining exceeding a time
[As a matter of fairness and transparency, that’s my breakfast to the right in the photo: a sausage and a potato patty on brown bread drizzled with Marmite. Brits are indecipherable, too.]
This caught my attention, but the truck was a let down
I took Tuesday off work to go for a bit of a run/pub crawl, to eat some local cuisine, and to think about my last day as a foreigner in Britain. By the time this publishes Wednesday morning, the metamorphosis will have begun. When it is official, I’ll post a brief message here (and add a link to it for those that find this article months or years later). In the meantime, I managed to add 6 more pubs to the list as well as another jellied eel and chippy fish to that map all in a little under 7 miles jogging through the hottest September day here in the last 50 years…glorious.
Mile End Park just ahead, left out of Mile End Station
The run was typical: get lost, see unexpected shit, find a place to drink, regroup, repeat. It did sort of arrange itself into segments without any prompting from me, though.
Segment 1, Victoria and Albert:
Hopped off the tube at Mile End Station and headed to Mile End Park to sip a beverage at the Palm Tree which turned out to be closed until much later in the day (see Segments 2 and 3, as this recurred frequently). I bailed on this one and went to the nearby Victoria, asked for and got directions to an eel shop, dined on these Victorian treats in the market, then washed the fishy aftertaste out of my mouth at the Albert.
There’s water under that mat of algae and garbage, but I didn’t fancy a swim to prove it
Segment 2, Literature:
I suffered a bit of misdirection through a park then spotted a couple of promising bars but passed on those to take in the Hemingway, not for the sake of Papa but to try to get the song Hemingway’s Shotgun out of my head (get the version by Eric Taylor if you dare). However, it was closed so I ran on towards the Cat & Mutton (thinking then of the trimmings from sheep’s kidneys Leopold Bloom tosses to his cat in the opening bits of Ulysses); it was also closed…shit. However, whilst wandering aimlessly in this wilderness, I found Edgar’s (named after Edgar Allen Poe, a nice tie in to my new neighbourhood) and while downing a pint there spotted a poster for The Sun Also Rises (and so I was back to The Hemingway).
The Hemingway…you’d think THIS pub would be open early to treat hangovers but NOOOOOOOOOOOO.
More literature appeared later on the run…
…and endless coincidence.
Segment 3, The Late Opening Time Desert:
Already disappointed three times — as many times as I had been successful on this trip — I next ran into a streak of bad bar luck in which every pub was closed (and the same two horse coppers seemed to keep turning up at the next one on):
Segment 4, Film Club:
Emerging from the Closed Pub Desert, I might have called this the Segment With No Name (a little Sergio Leone reference) for the heat and curious townsfolk I encountered. But, my first open bar after the hitless drought was the Hitchcock-themed North By Northwest, then followed up with the Marquess Tavern (a bar that could have been the set of some Jennifer Anniston or Reneé Zellweger offence against cinema. The segment and the day’s run finished, after more seafood, at a pub made out of an actual old cinema (a few doors down from the Joe Meek apartment/recording studio that I ran to a year or so ago — and, I never would have known who HE was except for Telstar: The Joe Meek Story, a movie I highly recommend).
Much improved photo since the previous jog past here
I went for a run today, like most days. Nothing special: I have done roughly 8 miles every September 11 since my flight to Edinburgh got cancelled that morning in 2001. Then, when I returned home I found the corpse of a Jihadi Sparrow who suicide piloted his ass into the side of my house. You can never escape it, these days. But, you must always be vigilant.
The run was nice, marred only by assholes on the canals and at the pub stop. The Great Ealing Battlements (above, now renamed ‘Northala Fields’ for some reason) originally built to keep the hordes from the Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon out of the quieter — and more civilised — London Borough to our south and southwest are now a recreation area complete with a motorway view to add some breathing challenge to a family day out. I run past this on a regular basis, lately, and it reminds me that the Donald’s plans for a wall (a great wall, the BEST) are nothing new.
Near at the end of the run, I snapped this shot of HM Prison Ruislip. The photo had only a coincidentally September 11 link (this is where the worst of the potential future terrorists are re-educated to become drones of society); I shot the picture just because the site was used for the high school scenes in the Inbetweeners, a film I TiVo’ed only to see the Ruislip Gardens neighbourhood scenes and fast-forward through the rest.
I mentioned the Chinese Sex Chair before. I removed the arm-rests (which double as *ahem* posing supports) a few years ago and have been using the mahogany piece as a garden table but on the day’s run, whilst not thinking about nor even considering the horrendous anniversary today marks (Pinochet should have died in the Hague!) I came up with this idea that I could turn this piece into something Mediterranean…Greek or Cypriot, like. Updates to follow (I haven’t yet mixed the right shade of blue). Just a note, though: while the US frets about Arabs pantsing them in public, the Chinese have been taking their lunch money for decades (thanks go out to Ronnie Reagan for both). Opa!
After the splendid Fairway Pub (read my extensive and complete review here), I ran through the muggy late summer heat and humidity toward my real target, the Woodman. I could see it ahead but the street sign just before it made me laugh:
Boiling sweat, relief came in the form of a Sharp’s Coaster (2nd in as many days) and a cool breeze in the shade of the grape vines on the front beer garden. It is a friendly and busy house near the Ruislip Lido and probably due another visit, soon; but, I had laundry on the line and taco fixings to purchase and couldn’t dilly-dally around here all day.