Archive for the ‘Middlesex’ Tag

South Harrow (& Rayners Lane) to Ruislip, Piccadilly & Metropolitan Lines, TFL Run Project   1 comment


{A map and technical description are in the 2017 Holiday Run Streak Week 1 post.}

An exhausting week just past resulted in me lying in this morning and not getting out for the day’s run until nearly sunset.  Not that you could see the sun in the downpour.



Heading east, I passed South Harrow Station (above) then worked my way up to Rayners Lane.  At the confluence of two great transport arteries — in this case, the Piccadilly and Metropolitan Lines — you can usually expect some structure of great cultural or religious significance.  Here I found the Zoroastrian Centre:



The station, just across the road, is one of my favourites:



Although, working westward, Eastcote Station is pretty good, too, despite the crap minicab dispatch office stinking up the view:



I arrived on Victoria Road heading to Ruislip Manor just as the Christmas Lights Turn-On was breaking up and I had to weave through crowds almost all the way to the rail bridge.  Stupidly, I knew this was tonight from dropping shit off at the library just a few hours earlier; but, it was only a hundred meters or so of glazed eyes and heavy traffic.



Finally, at Ruislip Station I was able to close the loop by heading down West End Road where a tall G&T awaited.  Sköl!



This start on the Metropolitan and the current segments finished on the Piccadilly are shown here:




And the overall progress:



Weekend Runs 21-22 October 2017   1 comment


“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
USPS Creed

The weekend runs tested my resolve with cold, rain, wind, and pre-dawn darkness; not exactly the Postman’s Creed, but most of us really think of the “Going Postal” version of the motto à la Newman from Seinfeld.  In fact, when a colleague asked, “was someone chasing you?” in reference to my mention of 30 miles on trail this weekend I replied, “only my demons,” before I realised I really had an opinion.




Saturday, I did an 8½ mile loop out to the canal path (where someone has dredged a scooter from the depths where the A40 crosses), through Northolt and back to the diy shop to pick up some varnish for a garden project. The wind was brutal and even dislodged a traffic light while I was waiting to cross the street at Northolt Station.




We had a busy day planned Sunday so, in order to be home in time to shower and get out to Uxbridge by 11, I left an hour-and-a-half before sunrise on my 21½ mile journey to Clapham Junction.



Hitting the canal at the same spot in Greenford as the previous morning, I worked my way south to the longer branch that passes below Ealing.  At a park along the way, I was intrigued by this beached rowboat with the WATER DONKEY sign.  If anyone can explain it, you are a better man than me; if anyone DOES explain it, I regain the high ground.



The route merged onto the River Brent path as twilight allowed me to holster my torch which would be a great euphemism; not as great as “Prize Length of Piling,” but not bad.


The transition to the downstream sections of the Thames Path required a stretch of street running through Brentford where a lovely collection of pubs taunted me with their pulled curtains and gated doorways.  I’ll be back, though, mark my words.



This year’s World Series involves the Astros and the Dodgers, two of my least favourite baseball teams, but them’s the breaks.  It was good to see that someone with a spray can is also patiently waiting for the Cubs’ return to form, next year:



Just before the Brent highway segment, there were several impressive weirs and railway bridges.  Following on, I eventually crossed to the south side of the Thames via the stately Kew Gardens Bridge and dodged the now-legion runners and cyclists that wait for a decent hour to get out for their morning constitutional.



On the far side of the Putney Bridge sits a Wetherspoons called the Rocket in an early-1960s office building that looks as if it was just built (a rarity in that era of Stalinist architecture).  Alas, the bar was not yet open (food only till 9) so to its sister pub, the Asparagus, I struggled.



After my long-overdue pint, I finished the journey at Clapham Junction.  I think there is a subconscious battle going on in my feeble mind.  Every time I catch a train here, I get songs by Squeeze stuck in my head but NEVER the one you would think.  Typing this up over coffee Tuesday morning, I’m still struggling to supplant Pulling Mussels From A Shell with any other earworm.



Posted October 24, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Running, Tourism

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Whelan’s. Uxbridge, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1960:

I had a half hour to kill, Friday, before Jackie arrived in Uxbridge for our wine tasting event. There’s not really much to occupy that short amount of time, there, so I sought out a pub (of course) finding Whelan’s — surprisingly, one that had not previously featured in this Endless British Pub Crawl.

Inside, it is frighteningly similar to what passes for an Irish-themed bar in the States. I understand they do folk music from time-to-time, but I fear it would be a sad imitation of the real thing (or is that te rail ting?).




Across from me, a pair of lads in their late 20s was having what was probably an after work pint. One of them was wild-eyed and probably coked up or just excited by his partner’s companionship. Either way, he was fairly loudly explaining everything he knew about stout which was, essentially, it takes a while to pour properly. Grimacing with each sip of his Guinness, he happily — and unconvincingly — proclaimed his life-long love of the black stuff.

I finished my house ale, a viscous brown soup that tasted strongly of linseed oil and floor polish (which are not bad things, in my assessment) before the tops of the lower-case lettering on their Guinness pints were exposed. They were definitely in the right bar. Me…not so much.


Posted October 23, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Travellers Rest, Kenton, Middlesex   2 comments


Pub #1955:

After the surprisingly unarousing trip to have my butt violated (while the NHS paid the costs!), I was surprisingly hungry and in need of fluid replacement therapy.  The Travellers’ Rest was only a short walk away and I decided to give it a go.



Unfortunately, I arrived before the kitchen opened and was forced to share this hotel lobby-cum-bar with the only other non-staff occupant … a decrepit old man working on his fourth Guinness of the morning.  This visit was kind of my past, present, and future condensed into a hoppy pint of ale and a discussion of the Jeremy Kyle show.

I moved on, soon after, to seek solid food and rest.  Ironic, considering the pub name.



Posted October 18, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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O’Donnell’s, South Harrow, Middlesex   1 comment


Pub #1938:

Multi-tasking with the run, this time, by doing a few errands whilst treating a hangover.  I picked up some bolts to repair the centre post on our bed which collapsed the previous night (yeah, we’ve still “got it”) and some small items for a garden project on my way to step 4 in the hangover cure prescription.  Steps 1-3 were 1) codeine, 2) a shot of gin, and 3) running a few miles to break a sweat and kick in 1 & 2.  Step 4 was, of course, a pint of lager to rehydrate ahead of 5 more miles to loop back to the house.



O’Donnell’s had escaped my attention thus far so this medical trip made it a welcome discovery.  Unsure of which side of the street to look, I was comforted by the suffering of Their Lord And Saviour Jesus Christ or, as it were, by the awesome carving on Their Church.  But, where was I going to get MY pint?

I turned back to the run and spotted the bar directly across.  “Quiet, today,” I observed.  “Like a crypt, but it’ll fill up for the Man United match, later,” the bartender replied, adding, “Have you been running?”  “Part of the hangover cure,” I noted, then with a lift of my lager, “and this is the last piece of the puzzle.”

A drunken Irishman — but I repeat myself — had been listening and asked what the other steps were.  He agreed with everything but the running so I’ll consider that an endorsement.


Posted October 1, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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The Wishing Well, Greenford, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1934:

The new year with respect to vacation days starts on 1 October and I had a day to burn up so there I was on Tuesday with really nothing to do except a short run I had scheduled myself. With Greenford 4.1 miles away, it seemed a good idea to catch the bus down there and have a beer at the Wishing Well before running home.

I got there at 1 minute past the 11 am opening time and there was already an old guy in there waiting for his Guinness to settle and be topped up. Brilliant. I asked for a Fosters and the bartender used her right hand to finish the stout and her left to pour mine all the while jabbering on about a football match the night before.

Mornings in Greenford seem pretty sedate. She eventually got the televisions booted and put on a sport channel where I was confronted with Trump, again, and a crawler with baseball scores (Cubs beat the Cards, magic number down to 1 for the Division title). I finished and walked up to deposit my glass and she rushed over to refill; “no, thank you…I’m off for a run, now.” They both chuckled, unaware of how this works in my world.  Beautiful weather out, I couldn’t have planned it better.



Posted September 27, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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Home, Ickenham, Middlesex   Leave a comment


Pub #1921:

…and then 2 come along at once.

Home Bar and Kitchen in Ickenham didn’t really call my name when it opened a few months ago.  It looked like it might just be an even more yuppified version of the Fox and Geese it replaced (note that the sign incorporates the old logo, above).  But, running home past it seemed like a nice way to get a few more miles in and, to be fair, I had just gone in for a lunch tipple at another place called Home at noon.  It would almost be irresponsible NOT to go.



Yes, it is very yuppified but in a way understatedly elegant, too.  Nice job on the new bar and the floors are marvelous.

I had a pint of the house “Home-made Lager,” which had no body or flavour.  THERE it is, I thought…THAT’S my metaphor.  It was then that I heard the awful, piped in Muzak.  The beer garden would have been a better choice.

Still, best of luck to them.  The menu looks divine, but I doubt I will ever return.


Posted September 15, 2017 by Drunken Bunny in Pubs

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