Sunday, 13 September 2015

Double Decker, Chiswick, Girlie natter

Chiswick is where we used to live and it's a great spot for walking the high street and window shopping and buying just about anything from shoes to steaks and screwdrivers, and there is an over-supply of mobile phone shops. People in these parts must change up their devices A LOT. There are more than enough pubs and the atmosphere is a bit of a cross between mad festival and yummy mummies meet bankers on the sly. It's possible to sit all day and just watch the passers-by. It's 3 suburbs away from Twickenham, so a plan to meet up with a girlfriend meant - Oh Yippee, a Double Decker Ride.

With Oyster card sorted and primed I waited across the road for the 267. It was a long wait, 2 minutes! not in the same league as the wait wait wait, Are they on strike? wait for a bus down Bundall Road. I jumped on after a quick reccie to establish that the upstairs front seats were free, swiped my card, only 1and a half quid, and headed for the top. Saturday night traffic through the suburbs made the going slow, but for me this allowed time to reacquaint myself with the once very familiar. ( I am reading this horror novel about a woman who got killed and so when a bloke sat down in the seat behind me, it was a bit freaky.)

I hopped off in Chiswick High Road, my once familiar stomping ground. Yep it was just the same. Oh sure, some of the stores had been replaced, but the crinkled pavers and the hustle of people was just the same. I felt like I had come home.

I headed for the Old Packhorse pub. In my memory, this has been an old dero place, then a yummy mummy place where I once saw women changing shitty nappies on the cloth sofas. The gaggle had taken over the entire back end of the pub and stayed all day gossiping and trying to retain some sanity over one or extravagantly perhaps 2 cappuccinos. I reckon the Mummy clientele was just not sufficient to make a profit so now it's morphed into a friendly pub with a decent Thai restaurant.

The thing about London pubs is that they are not trying to be oldie worldie. They just bloody are. The furniture is authentic and the floor boards could speak volumes. And I know this sounds a bit romantic especially to Aussies whose pubs are new and slick and plastic and shiney bright. I do warn however that oldie worldie very often means worn out springs and chairs and table height mismatch, so a little game of Goldilocks is needed as you try out various settings looking for the one that is 'just right'. I got there early and played the game and then found a winner.

A couple of bottles of pinot and a Thai curry and through the tears and the giggles we put the world to rights. Well sometimes that is not possible even over a very fine chicken massamo but we gave it a red hot go. Ta Chris, I am so glad we caught up.

Off to the bus stop and home again. 3 quid for all that travel. I guess it's a tightrope walk in London, trying to compare public transport costs with the price of parking, and even if you can afford the parking, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to find one. And if you factor in the drinkies, then taking the car is just not an option.

I do love popping off to the pub on the double decker.