Last week I hailed a taxi to take me ‘south of the river’ – now this used to be a challenge as you were met with a gruff ‘sorry darling, don’t go sarf of the river’, but how things have changed. As I cruised through London I thought how beautiful it looked in the glorious sunshine, and being a dog I can tell you that it smells beautiful too! We crossed the river at Albert Bridge – my favourite for two reasons, first it’s the most stunning bridge over the Thames and second it’s near Battersea Park – just the place for a dog to have a good run about. I also hear that it’s jammed full of nearly tame squirrels that have never met a spaniel intent on mass murder. It’s so annoying, but when I come to the ‘south London spa’ as I call Uncle Rich’s house, he never takes me there – perhaps he likes squirrels. I asked the taxi to drop me at the bottom of Northcote Road so that I could walk the last few hundred yards to my holiday home. I always have to weave my way through a sea of yummy mummies pushing their offspring around in Bugaboos while wearing ‘active wear’ in various lurid colours, but I like taking in the lively atmosphere. Personally I prefer to go naked rather than wear something as infra dig as ‘active wear’, but no-one seems to complain.
As soon as I got to Uncle Rich’s I let him know how urgent was my need for a walk. He’s not that bright, but even he can work out what’s required when I jump into his lap holding the lead in my mouth while knocking all his papers of the table with my fiercely wagging tail. We always have a binary choice – it’s either Wandsworth or Clapham Common. I can’t tell you why, but I prefer Clapham Common. If we go out early there are always hundreds of other dogs to ignore, which is just my way. Clapham Common has lots of fat rooks and crows, lumbering wood pigeons and those noisy ring-necked parakeets (and by the way, it’s well beneath my dignity to chase such low forms of life). However, it lacks one very important commodity – squirrels. I know they’re hiding there somewhere but I never seem to find them.
One thing I share in common with Uncle Rich is taking pleasure in foraging. While he forages for all sorts of goodies on the commons such as asparagus, bullace, wild hops, and mushrooms I prefer to nose around the bins on a Sunday evening when all the leftovers from people’s picnics are piled high near the overflowing bins. Well, no-one‘s perfect, not even such a wonderful dog as I. On one day, I was taken out on an exciting adventure to SE London – somewhere I’ve never been before. Several trains and good walk later we arrived at Uncle Rich’s friend’s house. You can be assured that I behaved impeccably and given that it was a BBQ I got fed well and the children seemed to understand my need to chase balls for two hours solid. I still can’t understand why everyone objected to me chasing the host’s cat up the tallest tree in the garden, but these mysteries are part of the rich tapestry of life.
Bye for now,