As I don’t think Celia’s son or daughter-in-law read this page, it’s probably safe to tell the story of how we almost lost a painting yesterday. If you are here in London you’ll know that unlike today which has been wet and windy, Thursday was one of those unseasonably mild days with blue skies and plenty of sunshine. I was very happy to accompany Celia over to Bermondsey where she was picking up a painting her son had bought. We strolled along, met another neighbour pushing her baby grand daughter in a push chair. The granddaughter was dressed in a red suit, and burst into tears when I spoke to her. Thank goodness I used to teach adolescents if that’s my effect on the very young. We admired buildings, the tiling on a pub:
We wondered about the Bermondsey Medical Mission and how Lena Fox was connected to it.
We collected the painting and then set off for a snack by the river, and shared a slab of banana bread. Back through the narrow streets and some enjoyable browsing in Bermondsey Street. We lusted after glass at the London Glassblowers where there was a table of items which will be in their January sale, seconds, as are all the pieces I have acquired from the London Glassblowers, but beautiful none the less.
There was a new charity shop raising money for Save the Children; food shops; puppies on the pavement. I even went to look at Christmas trees, but they were all enormous. We found a shop selling beer and books, a winning combination. More puppies. more meandering. In a park a bench dedicated to the memory of a young man killed violently drew our attention. It is beautifully done, full of personal touches, and I hope the making of it brought some healing for his grieving family and friends.
By Guy’s Hospital we wondered what had caused the damage to the barrier.
We walked on. About two hundred yards from home, Celia suddenly shrieked. I looked at her and understood. No painting. Where had she left it? We used our phones to find the numbers of the places we had stopped. Two voicemails, one answer from a very helpful woman in the charity shop. No, the painting wasn’t there, but she was going to search the street.
We made a plan, a quick pitstop in our homes to use the loo and grab a snack and then meet to retrace our steps. So twenty minutes later we were boarding bus back to London Bridge. No sign from the charity shop lady’s street search, but I kept thinking it would be found. Most people are honest. The painting almost certainly had the name of the gallery on the wrapping; we could ask there. But we didn’t need to. The glassblowers said Celia had left with her painting, so it had to be in the beer and book shop. It was. Back to the charity shop to report, and then another bus home and smiles all round. A happy ending. Just don’t tell Paul.
In other news, I have had a flu jab; I’ve learned that I am in the seventh group for the Covid vaccine, though I don’t know when that will be; my towel rail is newly installed and it is much warmer than the old one; the fairy lights are up and on; I have six real candles burning this evening and three electric ones. It’s actually beginning to feel like Christmas.
Stay safe. Keep Well.