A Chance Meeting. 8th July

St Pancras Cruising Club

A day of work for me today. Time to tot up everything I’ve been spending on panto and #unit 21. Mick was on a mission to finish washing anything and everything he could get his hands on, so the rugs round the multi fuel stove and Tilly’s bed got a wash along with trying to get the laundry drawer empty. When you are paying £2 an night for electric you want to make the most of it, however we did stop short of washing the curtains!

A Sainsburys order arrived to help restock the wine cellar and replenish the wooden cat litter.

When will they move the outside again?

I had a couple of things to return to Primark, I’d considered doing this in Huddersfield but the queue there was sooo long I decided to do so at Tottenham Court Road. Then I headed back to MacCulloch and Wallis as I was wanting to buy myself a darning mushroom so that I can mend some tops that have developed holes. But unfortunately the shop that sells everything sewing wise failed me. They sell everything sewing wise other than darning mushrooms or eggs! The lady apologised and suggested John Lewis or just finding a door knob.

Some wonderful tiling on Russell Square Underground Station

My route back to St Pancras brought me to Heals. I’ve not been inside Heals for years so decided to go and have a nosy. There was a sale on, but I still couldn’t justify spending £650 on a wibbly glass bubble of a pendant light, we’d just end up hitting our heads on it on Oleanna anyway!

The staircase

I did however find the Cecil Brewers staircase which was completed in 1916. Pillars stand proud at each landing, the curve is beautiful and a light fitting cascades down through the centre. It is a lovely thing.

One very sleek cat

The main reason for visiting was sitting on the window cill facing the front of the store. The Heal’s cat is a tall sleek bronze creature, designed by the French sculptor Chassagne. It quickly became the shop mascot and when Dodie Smith worked in the store (prior to writing 101 Dalmatians) she passed around the rumour that the cat would grant wishes. So today I touched the cat’s paws and made a wish myself.

Mary Ward House

My walk back involved walking past Mary Ward House built in 1898 which is now a conference and exhibition centre. Mass industrialisation in England had created an overworked, undereducated, and unvalued lower class. Mary Ward campaigned against the injustices and her work went on to define her life. She became the figurehead for the settlement movement which sought to alleviate poverty by getting the rich and poor to live more closely with each other, breaking down the physical and educational boundaries between classes. Education, day care and healthcare were provided for those living below the poverty line. Amazing what you find out when a building catches your eye.

As I put together a macaroni cheese for our evening meal we could see a boat winding and then reversing into the basin. Anyone who has followed boat blogs for a while will know this boat, NB Chance, they were to be our neighbours for the night.

A Chance meeting

It took a lot of effort to get in beside us the amount of weed has certainly increased in the week since we arrived, but in the end Richard and Victoria were breasted up with us.

Looking through Chance

This evening we were joined by Mick’s nephew Richard for a drink in the garden. Richard has been working for BBC Media in Action in Bangladesh for about ten years, so we have only really seen him on big family occasions over the last decade. But late last year he returned to London and will now be based here. We had a lovely couple of hours with him before he decided he should head home. Hopefully we’ll get chance to meet up again in a couple of weeks time.

0 locks, 0 miles, 2 t-shirts returned, 0 mushrooms, 30%, 1 cat, 1 chance encounter, 1 nephew, 1 last night in the basin.