Modern life is rubbish (Richmond to Uxbridge) - In the name of Thiago - Day 268


There were two cracking opportunities to slip in a reference to a Blur lyric or two from 'For Tomorrow' today. Along with the splendid troop of Mr Nicholas Metcalfe, Quinton Drawbridge and my lovely host Camilla Costa Calisto, I was very nearly lost on the Westway, it turned out we were even more lost than that but the A4020 wasn't quite the Westway, so that lyric passed by the wayside. 

However, I did very nearly lose my shit in the Red Lion - our final stop for the day - when we were told to order from the app, as opposed to the person who was telling this in a virtually empty pub. Camilla had had to leave a little earlier in the day and Quinton and Nick both had dead batteries and my fucking phone isn't scanning QR codes apart from the NHS Test and Trace one. The lady telling us all this could very easily have taken an order and her colleague eventually did. Hence, Modern Life is Rubbish. 

All of the above is something of an over-reaction on my part and probably reflects my slightly troubled state of mind today. Bloody grief is a bitch I tell you. Apologies in advance and all that.

And here we are, the famous four, (left to right: Quinton, Camilla, yours truly and Nick) just after we'd belatedly made it via Brentford FC to the Grand Union Canal somewhere I thought I wouldn't be leaving other than to meet people at stations and stop off at pubs.

It didn't quite pan out that way today. We had faffed about something chronic at the beginning for which I take full responsibility and it wasn't long before I had us heading off in the wrong direction. I honestly don't know how I do it, it's a gift!

As I mentioned, we stopped via here and well I can't really stop myself when it comes to having photos outside football grounds. It was nice enough but as I saw the signs for it from a couple of streets away it didn't have the same jaw-dropping magnificence, as when I approached Haywards Heath Town last Monday. Yes, I am being serious, and yes, I know I'm a bit fucked in the head.

It has given me an idea though: I've always been fascinated by places that are at the end of something whether it be an extremity of coastline, a ferry port or a straightforward train or underground line (I'll get to Uxbridge later - we did eventually make it there) but how about visiting places that are the end of canals. A wander from Tring to Brentford via the Grand Union Canal probably isn't something that will appear in a travelogue in a good bookshop near you any time soon I suspect..

Shag. Well cormorant actually. I always thought they were one of the same. But Quinton assured us all that this was the latter and I have neither the inclination nor the energy to corroborate this any further. He's a good lad and I'm very happy to take his word on this, not that it matters one iota. 

Gees it was slow going today but it matters not as everyone got on very well indeed, which was something that gladdened me greatly today. I've had a difficult day though personally emotionally, lots of tears, lots of memories kicking in throughout the day and I'm really, really tired. 

We meandered passed this place earlier, whereupon I made some slightly cumbersome joke on Twitter about finding somewhere happier later on. Much as I was blessed with the company I had today, happiness was something that was a little beyond me. I was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Whether it was not having my dear friend Jamie with me to make sure I didn't make any fuck ups - I made plenty - or just how much I miss my two girls, I've been in an exceptionally melancholy mood.

Getting told off by some jumped up little twat at a Fullers pub in Richmond for supposedly loitering for 20 minutes outside when we simply didn't realise it was open, to ending up in another Fullers pub - the Red Lion in Uxbridge where the chap revelled in telling me how Fullers had bought out Dark Star very briefly made me wonder whether Fullers were actually a shitter brewery that Greene King. They were today. Suffice to say none of this really helped my mood. 

This was just after boarding the tube at Uxbridge. I reckon it took an hour and forty minutes to get from here to Colliers Wood tonight. I shall be making my way back there in the opposite direction setting off at about 9am I guess to make sure that I'm back at the very end of the Metropolitan line to greet my old flatmate and walking partner for the next three walking days: Mr Simon Eastland.

I'm very grateful to Quinton, Nick and Camilla for their company today. I know I wasn't right on my game but it can't always be so. The tears have been coming very easily and with such regularity. But you know what people understand and people, generally speaking, are kind. These three have been a very supporting team to me today and I feel quite fortunate about that. The fact that they all enjoyed today was something I found very comforting. It's time to move away from London now - let's see what that brings. To the next day, making the fundraising target and being kind: cheers. And to Fullers - those purveyors of tremendously dull beer. Up yours.


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