Reproach has broken my heart and I am so sick. And I looked for sympathy, but there was none, and for comforters, I found none.
Today could be described as a boom or a bust day; it went both ways. I intended to obtain marketing material for my sponsors to look at from three development trusts: Riverside Community Development Trust, Bow People’s Trust, and Bootstrap Enterprises. They did not look too far apart on the map, although I anticipated extensive tube-riding to travel between them. I went first to RCDT and easily found it…tightly locked up. Fortunately the walk had not been long, so I simply went back to the tube station and proceeded to the Bow People’s Trust.
Or tried. Their address simply stated that they were on Roman Road, in Vernon Hall next to the Idea Store. If I had been clever, I would’ve looked up the Idea Store address, but instead I looked at a map and found Roman Road. A very tiny tube station let me out right next to the road, so I figured I would just walk down it until I found the Trust. Big mistake! Turns out that tube let me off at the far end of Roman Road, while the Idea Store was on the very far other end. I walked the entire length of Roman Road, sweating in the unusual sun and wondering when/if I should turn back. Finally I reached the far end – I walked right off my map – and hadn’t seen the Idea Store or Bow People’s Trust, so I turned to walk all the way back to the tube station. Then I saw the Idea Store but the Trust still eluded me. So I asked the security guard at the door, who at my inquiry gave me a look and said, “You haven’t heard?” My heart sank as he escorted me around the corner to an unmarked door. The buzzer had been disconnected. No trace of the Bow People’s Trust existed there, although a girl in the library did give me their phone number (nice, but not at all helpful; I already had the number, but no phone with me. And I wouldn’t call them in any case: at the rates I pay to use the phone, only family members will get a call froom me) and she insisted it still existed.
Disappointed at not having obtained material from either trust, I followed signs back to a different tube station. It wasn’t any closer, but at least I didn’t have to walk all the way back up Roman Road (a rather slummy walk) on the way back. At the station I looked at my map and found I would have to walk another two miles to get to Bootstrap Enterprises anyway. So I gave up for the day and rode the District line all the way from Bow Road to Sloane Square, caught a bus and Sloane Square, and treated myself to a deliciously fruity lunch. Then I thought of the Chelsea Flower Show, which maps indicated was taking place not far from the Sloane Square tube stop. Instead of wasting this gorgeous day working on my MQP, I took a book and my camera and walked the mile up to Sloane Square. Upon investigation, I did not immediately find the show but did find a guy who gave me a free stick of lucky bamboo to encourage me to shop at the Duke of York Square. I did look around the Duke of York Square but found it about as interesting as all outdoor malls.
Eventually after wandering around with my bamboo I followed the crowds to the Chelsea Flower Show, but along the way started realizing that you had to buy £40 tickets to get in, and all the tickets were sold out anyway. Not that I would pay around $80 to see flowers. But I found the entrance, which was just at the Thames River. So I crossed the river at a bridge, walked along the bank through Battersea Park, and stopped to read a bit of my book (thrillingly titled Mitcham Histories: 3. Pollards Hill, Commonside East, and Lonesome). I dozed on a bench in the sun, then got up and walked through the park where I found some pleasant shaded paths and the second London squirrel I’ve seen. I kept wandering and crossed the Prince Albert bridge, which had a sign posted:
Albert Bridge Notice: All troops must break step when marching over this bridge.
I didn’t break step because I’m not troops. Turns out that street led straight to the Chelsea Fire Station, right next to the IES building. But I wanted ice cream so I walked the mile back up to the Duke of York Square, bought an expensive but delicious cone of strawberry ice cream, and walked back to IES. And here I am, needing to work on my MQP. Overall the development trust part disappointed me, but Battersea Park was lovely and I enjoyed my three-hour-long perambulation. The day evened out and I’d rate it Pretty Darn Good.